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Join the OU Retirees Association or Renew Your Membership

What is the OU Retirees Association and why should I join?

In 1991, the OURA was established by the OU Regents “for the benefit of the University and for the retired faculty and staff comprising its membership. Activities shall include, but not be limited to, assistance in fulfilling University goals and objectives, assistance in fund raising and student recruiting activities, providing informational and social opportunities for retirees, participating in appropriate University organizations, and such other services as may be requested by the University or the Association membership. It shall not function as a lobbying organization within or without the University for the sole benefit of its members.”


So if I become a member, what is required of me? How much does it cost?

Annual dues are $10, very affordable.
The OURA typically has four events a year and strives to provide interesting and entertaining programs for its members. You may attend one, all, or none of the events. This is a good way to meet new friends, reconnect with former colleagues, and have a little fun. A newsletter is published quarterly, prior to each meeting. Download a sample OURA newsletter (PDF).

To join the OURA or to renew your membership, click the following link, fill out the OURA membership/renewal form, and mail the completed form to the OURA Treasurer along with your dues payment. Download a Membership/Renewal form (PDF).

In addition to payment by personal check, membership/renewal payments may now be made online by credit/debit card at the following link:

Benefits Update

[29 June 2021]  Effective 1 January 2021, the healthcare and prescription-drug coverage for Medicare-eligible OU retirees and their currently enrolled Medicare-eligible dependents is provided through the UnitedHealthCare Group Medicare Advantage plan, a custom PPO designed exclusively for University of Oklahoma retirees. The plan is different from and should not be confused with individual Medicare Advantage plans available in our area, whether offered by UHC or by other insurers. The UHC plan replaces both the previous Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Oklahoma Traditional Indemnity medical plan and the previous Blue Cross MedicareRx prescription-drug plan. Because the new plan is a Medicare Advantage plan with Prescription Drug coverage (MAPD), OU retirees will no longer be able to be enrolled in another Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D plan and continue coverage with the University of Oklahoma. -  For more detailed information on individual retirees' coverage, UnitedHealthCare Customer Service is available toll-free at 866-225-9726, TTY 711, 8am-8pm local time, 7 days a week.

Q: For Medicare-eligible retirees, what is the main difference between the new plan and the old plan?

A: The UHC Group Medicare Advantage plan designed specifically for OU retirees is a PPO (Preferred Provider Option) which covers Medicare Parts A, B, and D, replacing the old plan's primary (Medicare) and secondary (BC/BS) carriers as well as its Part D carrier (BC MedicareRx). A single insurance card replaces the three cards we previously carried.

Q: What about dental insurance and vision insurance?

A: Blue Cross/Blue Shield is now our dental-insurance carrier, having replaced Delta Dental. Vision insurance primarily covering eyeglasses, frames, contact lenses, and annual vision checkups is now offered through MetLife. Medical issues involving the eyes are now covered under the UHC Group Medicare Advantage plan.

Q: Is it possible to opt out of the new plan?

A: PayFlex says: "If you do not wish to be enrolled into the medical plan . . . you may consider a one-time opportunity to opt out . . . and preserve the option to opt back in at a future date. . . . If you're interested in opting out, please contact OU Human Resources at 405-325-1826 (for Norman retirees) or 405-271-2180 (for HSC and Tulsa retirees)." OUHR adds, for those contemplating opting out of the new plan, "Keep in mind that you and your dependents are considered a unit; opting out means that your dependents are opting out as well. If you opt out but then lose the other health insurance coverage, you may return o the OU retiree medical insurance within 31 days of losing the other coverage. You must provide proof of continuous coverage to PayFlex for the 24-month period preceding your return to OU insurance coverage. You can take advantage of this opt-out option at any point during your retirement, but it is only available once. After you have opted out and back in, this option is no longer available to you. For more information about opting out, contact OUHR at"

Q: Is it possible, while covered under the new UHC plan, to enroll in another Medicare Advantage plan or another Part D (prescription drug coverage) plan as well?

A: No. As stated by OUHR and as noted above in italics, "Because the new plan is a Medicare Advantage Plan with Prescription Drug Coverage (MAPD), you will no longer be able to be enrolled in another Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D plan and continue coverage with the University of Oklahoma."

Q: Will a pre-Medicare OU retiree who turns 65 later in 2021 and registers for Medicare see her/his insurance coverage automatically converted from BC/BS to the UHC Group Medicare Advantage plan? Could this retiree opt out of the UHC plan prior to such a conversion from BC/BS if she/he preferred a different Medicare Advantage plan or some other type of coverage instead?

A: The short answer to each of these questions is Yes. According to OUHR, "Pre-Medicare retirees turning 65 later this year will receive a letter from PayFlex and a UnitedHealthCare enrollment form approximately 3 months before attaining age 65 informing them to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B. If they wish to enroll in the UHC Medicare Advantage plan, they must complete the enrollment form and submit it to OUHR's Retirement Office along with their Medicare number. Once the Retirement Office receives a retiree's enrollment form and Medicare number, the information is forwarded to UnitedHealthCare for enrollment. If any retiree wishes to opt out of the OU retiree medical insurance plan at that time, she/he must contact OUHR's Retirement Office and arrange to sign the one-time opt-out form."

Q: Are virtual medical visits covered under the new plan?

A: Telehealth/Virtual Visits were added in 2020 as a necessity due to Covid-19. With the ongoing pandemic, such visits are a continuing benefit in the 2021 plan. There was a glitch in moving the benefit to the new plan, in that services such as speech and behavioral therapies were classified as "specialty services" with a different co-pay amount. This has now been rectified with updated language in the 2021 plan.

For answers to other questions regarding the new plan, for fee tables, and for the UHC Group Medicare Advantage plan's prescription-drug formulary, visit or call OUHR at either 405-325-1826 (Norman campus) or 405-271-2180 (OKC and Tulsa campuses).


Updates from OU's Employee Benefits Committee [29 June 2021]

1. Negotiations between Blue Cross Blue Shield and the OU Health Sciences Center have been settled. OU Physicians will remain "in network" for BCBS card holders. OUHR is no longer working on a custom network, since the negotiations have been concluded.

2. The Request for Proposals (RFP) regarding the pharmacy and plan administration for current OU employees and pre-65 retirees had a closing date of 4 June 2021. A review committee was established, and all committee members received a copy of the RFP responses submitted. The committee has until the end of June to review the submissions, at which time the members will meet to determine which of the submitting agencies should be invited to campus for in-person presentations. The Willis Towers Watson company will provide a side-by-side comparison to assist the committee in the review process.


Senior Volunteers Sought.  The OURA's Executive Board recently received the following message and request from the Associate Director of OKC's new First Americans Museum, whose grand opening is scheduled for mid-September:

First Americans Museum of Oklahoma City is recruiting volunteers for our Grand Opening (Sept. 18-19) as well as ongoing volunteers to support our programs and events. Members of the OU Retirees Association may be particularly interested in becoming docents or administrative volunteers. You can learn more and apply at If you have questions, please reach out to Adrienne Lalli Hills, Associate Director of Learning and Community Engagement, at or at 405.594.2117.




James Fife.  20 September 2020, Draper UT, age 87.  Retired Professor of French in OU's Department of Modern Languages & Literatures.

Samuel Arthur Friedman.  22 September 2020, Norman, age 93.  Retired coal geologist with the Oklahoma Geological Survey at OU.

Albert Schwarzkopf.  6 October 2020, Norman, age 78.  Retired Regents Professor of Mathematics and Management Information Systems.

Fred Vincent Brock.  21 October 2020, Norman, age 87.  Retired OU Professor of Meteorology.

Leon W. Zelby.  9 November 2020, Norman, age 95.  Professor Emeritus and former Director of OU's School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Ruth DeSilver.  20 November 2020, Norman, age 86. Retired bookkeeper in the administrative offices of OU's College of Continuing Education.

Patricia Anne Imhoff.  29 November 2020, Norman, age 86.  Retired staff resource specialist with the OU Athletics Department.

Mary Carol Gilbert.  27 November 2020, Norman, age 84.  Longtime OURA member and OU College of Fine Arts Board of Visitors member.

Sharon Ray.  1 December 2020, Norman, age 73.  Retired OU Purchasing Office agent.

Jane Johnson.  10 December 2020, Flower Mound TX, age 74.  Retired Program Assistant with OU's Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.

Estelle Burkhart.  17 December 2020, Norman, age 90.  Retired OU Bookstore staffer.

Rennard Strickland.  5 January 2021, Norman, age 80.  Retired Senior Scholar in Residence at the OU College of Law.

Louis Havis Ederington.  February 2021, age 76. OU Professor Emeritus of Economics.

Robert Jay Block.  15 February 2021, Norman, age 85. OU Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering and Metallurgy.

Margaret Smith.  18 February 2021, Norman, age 73. Retired tech specialist with OU Information Technology.

Richard J. Doviak.  12 March 2021, Norman, age 87. Retired radar program director at the National Severe Storms Laboratory.

Johnny Eli Johnson.  23 March 2021, Yukon OK, age 71. Retired COO and CFO of OUHSC's University Hospitals Authority.

Henry Tobias.  28 March 2021, age 96. Retired Professor of History and former chair of OU's Department of History.

Kathy H. Latrobe.  1 May 2021, Houston TX, age 74. Retired Director of OU's School of Library & Information Studies.

Ira Jean (Matthews) McCracken.  19 May 2021, Norman, age 87. Retired Sooner House employee.

Daniel Allen Cottom.  27 June 2021, Norman, age 68. Retired OU Professor of English and David Burr Chair of Letters.

Elsie Livesay.  13 July 2021, Reynoldsburg OH, age 88. Retired OU Food Service clerk.

Michael C. Buchwald.  4 August 2021, Norman, age 77.  Retired Professor of Drama in OU's College of Fine Arts.

Susan Kathleen McPherson.  1 August 2021, Norman, age 70. Retired Staff Assistant in OU's Department of Sociology.

Jonathan Forman.  16 August 2021, Norman, age 69. Retired Kenneth E. McAfee Centennial Chair holder in the OU College of Law.

Luther Wilson Jr.  5 August 2021, Brighton CO, age 77. Former Associate Editor/Editor-in-Chief at the University of Oklahoma Press.

Richard Hilbert.  22 August 2021, Norman, age 97. Retired Professor and Chair of OU's Department of Sociology and former President of the OU Retirees Association.

David William White III.  17 August 2021, Norman, age 81. Retired Chief Broadcast Engineer for NPR radio station KGOU at the University of Oklahoma.

William (Charlie) Clay Jr.  29 August 2021, Norman, age 67. Retired OU Professor of Sociology.

Elton Gene Davis.  28 August 2021, Norman, age 98. Retired director of OU Financial Aid.

Robert C. White.  14 September 2021, Norman, age 87. Former Assistant Director of the OU Physical Plant.

Curtis C. McKnight.  11 September 2021, Norman, age 77.  Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at OU.