Friday, May 24, 2024

RPEC Weekly NewsFlash, April 5, 2024

RPEC Weekly NewsFlash, April 5, 2024

New Drugs Eligible for Medicare Part B Savings

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced a reduction in Medicare Part B coinsurance costs for 41 medications, effective from April 1 to June 30, 2024. This change affects over 700,000 Medicare beneficiaries who use these medications, potentially offering savings of as much as $3,575 per dose, subject to their coverage plan.

This price reduction stems from the Inflation Reduction Act, which imposes penalties on pharmaceutical companies for price increases that outpace inflation. These penalties are then allocated to the Medicare Trust Fund.

The Inflation Reduction Act has previously facilitated substantial cost savings for those on Medicare by enabling price negotiations for medications, setting a maximum out-of-pocket expense limit of $2,000 for drugs, limiting insulin copays to $35 monthly, and broadening the scope of the Medicare Low-Income Subsidy “Extra Help” program.

Medicaid – A Lifeline for Seniors

In April 2024, we honor the 7th annual Medicaid Awareness Month, a time to recognize the lifeline that Medicaid extends to seniors. Medicaid’s impact on older adults is nothing short of transformative, covering over half of the nation’s long-term care needs and providing essential support to approximately 50% of seniors aged 75 and above, and 75% of those aged 85 and up.

Medicaid is critical for those living in nursing homes, covering 60% of nursing home residents. This is a testament to Medicaid’s indispensable role in ensuring the well-being of seniors. The average annual cost of nursing home care stands at a staggering $82,000 – a barrier for many seniors, whose annual income is as little as one-third of that.

With D.C. and 40 states, including Washington, opting to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, an additional 24.5 million Americans have found relief for medical coverage. Yet, despite these triumphs, Medicaid remains under constant threat. The looming risk of funding cuts over the next decade could potentially strip millions of seniors of the coverage they depend on for their medical needs.

We stand in solidarity with American seniors as we continue the fight to preserve a lifeline that many seniors couldn’t survive without.

RPEC Leadership Training – SAVE THE DATE!

Are you interested in being a future leader for your chapter or serving on RPEC’s Executive Board? Are you a newly elected or re-elected chapter officer? We encourage any member who is interested in or is curious to know more about leadership to attend RPEC’s annual virtual Leadership Training.  This training is necessary for all re-elected and new chapter officers.

This will be a 2-part training on Zoom: Leadership Training, led by the Council Office on June 10th, and the AFSCME Financial Standards Training on June 14th. The registration deadline is May 17th.

Register here: https://2024.rpecwa.org/2024-leadership-training/

The training has been amended to align with the new Strategic Plan implemented by the Executive Board and will cover topics including: RPEC’s organizational structure, effectively communicating with your chapter, interacting with and recruiting potential members, mobilizing your chapter for legislative advocacy, running successful meetings, and more. The tools and content for the training are updated and improved upon each year, so please plan to participate even if you have already done so in the past.

To the leaders who are maintaining their position of office, we look forward to continuing our work with you. To those that are new to leadership, welcome, and we hope you are as excited as we are about the path ahead of you. With a strong foundation of chapter leaders, there is no limit to what RPEC can accomplish.

Upcoming Events:

Please refer to our calendar page for more information for each event, including links to Zoom meetings, if available.

  • April 11 – Public Employees Benefits Board (9:00 am)
  • April 11 – Healthcare Workgroup (3:30 pm)
  • April 12 – Legislative Committee Meeting (10:00 am)
  • April 16 – Select Committee on Pension Policy (10:00 am)
  • April 19 – Pension Policy Workgroup (10:00 am)
  • April 25 – Membership Committee Meeting (10:00 am)
  • April 25 – Healthcare Workgroup (3:30 pm)
  • May 3 – Legislative Update Call (2:00 pm)
  • May 6 – Executive Board Meeting (9:00 am)
  • May 7 – Executive Board Meeting, Strategic Planning (9:00 am)
  • May 9 – Public Employees Benefits Board (9:00 am)
  • May 9 – Healthcare Workgroup (3:30 pm)

Your Voice for Retirement Security!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *