Important Information from Mercer for Pre-65 Retirees

Important Information for Pre-65 Retirees

Mercer Health & Benefits Administration LLC is responsible for the administration of retiree insurance benefits. Mercer operates the Windstream Retiree Service Center to assist members with plan information and questions for individuals considering retiring or who are retired, the number is:

1-855-846-7564
Service Center is available from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Central Time
P.O. Box 14464 Des Moines, IA 50306

Obtaining Retiree Insurance Benefits

If you are under age 65 and considering retirement, you may contact the Retiree Service Center to request information.  Once your retirement date has been established, it will be communicated to Mercer and benefit information will be sent to you.

  • You will need to complete the enrollment form to elect your insurance benefits in retirement and return to Mercer. Mercer will process the form and send the information to the insurance carriers.
  • Your benefits will be effective the 1st of the month following the date of your retirement.
  • Mercer will send you a bill for your retiree insurance benefits premium payment (see billing information below).
  • The insurance carrier will send you ID Cards for the benefits for which you are enrolled.Once you have retired, you will contact the Windstream Retiree Service Center directly for questions and assistance related to your insurance benefits.  They will assist you with the following types of questions:
    • death notifications
    • insurance plan eligibility, effective date questions
    • requests for enrollment materials and new retiree information
    • life insurance verification and confirmation, if applicable
    • insurance beneficiary updates
    • plan disenrollment and plan changes
    • general benefit information for the medical and life program
    • how to obtain ID cards/other benefit information from vendors
    • COBRA events
    • designation of an authorized representative or Power of Attorney
    • transfer to the pension administrator or health plan carriers
  • Mercer will send you a monthly billing statement for your insurance premiums. For convenience, Mercer offers the option of having your monthly insurance premiums automatically deducted from your bank account; this is called an electronic funds transfer (EFT).  Instructions for setting up automatic deductions will be included with your first billing statement.

Billing Timetable:

  • Your first monthly bill for January 2018 will be mailed by Mercer on December 15, 2017 with payment due to Mercer on January 1, 2018.
  • Subsequent monthly bills will be mailed on the 1st day of the preceding month and will be due by the 1st of the month. (For example, the February 2018 bill will be mailed January 1 with payment due February 1.)
  • Mercer is responsible for communicating enrollment to each of your insurance carriers. If you have a question regarding the activation of your retiree coverage with a carrier, you should contact Mercer.
  • Mercer handles life insurance questions, beneficiary updates and will begin the death claim process.
  • Mercer handles the Annual Enrollment communication each year which will be mailed in mid to late October.

Discontinuing Pension Deductions

  • As of January 2018, pension deductions for insurance premiums will no longer be available. Tax withholdings and applicable garnishments will continue to be deducted from your pension check.  You will need to take action to make a payment each month for your premiums by mailing a check or signing up for EFT.  The 2018 EFT Calendar is provided below

2018 Electronic (EFT)Premium Draft Calendar

Month Bank Draft Date
January 1/8/18
February 2/7/18
March 3/7/18
April 4/6/18
May 5/7/18
June 6/7/18
July 7/9/18
August 8/7/18
September 9/10/18
October 10/5/18
November 11/7/18
December 12/7/18
Please note:  Funds are debited on the 5th day of the month unless it is a week end or a federal holiday.  If the 5th day falls on the week end or federal holiday, then the following business day the funds will be debited.