CBS Retirees’ Hospital Reimbursement Plan – A $600 Benefit!

By Susie Barbour, Communications Director 412-952-6629

(W)/CBS has a Hospital Reimbursement Program about which many Westinghouse retirees may not be aware. It is entitled “CBS Programs With Medicare” and the plan offers a $600 reimbursement (per hospital stay) to eligible CBS retirees and their spouses.  W SURE member Wayne Bickerstaff learned about the program from Howard Finney several months ago, and was recently able to take advantage of the program’s $600 benefit!  After becoming eligible for Medicare, CBS retirees are automatically enrolled in this Special Program driven program for CBS retirees that is administered by Highmark. You are not required to use Highmark as your Medicare Supplement to be eligible.  According to Wayne, “I sent in a claim for my recent hospital stay for my knee replacement and after about 6-8 weeks I received a check for $600.” 

Attached is the formal description of the Hospital Plan and a claim form.  Normally Highmark asks that you submit a claim by June 30 of the year following your hospital stay. However, during a recent telephone call with Highmark, Wayne was informed that you can file a retroactive claim of up to 3 years, or longer, but you must explain why you are filing so late (e.g. "I just found about this program”).

Since the program has a three-year lookback, it is possible to request reimbursement for an earlier hospital stay, but you must provide a copy of the hospital record (contact the hospital’s billing department) and then send that to Highmark, along with a completed claim form and an explanation of why you are filing a retroactive claim. In fact, Wayne just received his second $600 check for a previous knee surgery in 2014, so it pays to do some legwork in digging up the necessary paperwork. And, on a recent phone call to the Plan’s 800 number, he learned that a claim older than 3 years MAY be approved if an appeal is filed and approved.

Before completing the claim form, call Highmark at 1-800-829-1918 and ask for directions in completing the form (there are options that need to be properly checked) and ask what hospital documents must be included.  Remember, spouses are included in the program. And, the Hospital Plan offers a maximum lifetime benefit of up to $60,000 for CBS retirees and their spouses combined.  Outpatient surgeries and hospital stays for observation are apparently NOT included in this program.

To learn more about the program or if you have questions about how to fill out the form, contact Highmark for more detailed information about Your CBS Hospital Plan at 1-800-829-1918.