Monday, October 2, 2023

RPEC Weekly Newsflash, August 25, 2023

RPEC Weekly Newsflash, August 25, 2023

Call-to-Action Campaign! We Need Your Help!

President Biden and Speaker McCarthy agreed upon a bipartisan budget bill. However, some newly proposed funding bill cuts by some House members would negatively impact many public services due to the lack of adequate funding and slash federal funding levels by almost 30%. If not agreed upon soon, a stalemate could lead to a federal government shutdown.

Although your Social Security and Medicare payments will not be impacted, there is still the possibility of cuts being proposed that could adversely impact these federal earned-benefit programs, along with the likelihood of service delays. Proposed funding bill cuts will also affect public safety, education, and many other needed public services by slashing federal funding headed to states and cities.

Join us in signing onto our letter to your Congressperson, which urges them to oppose any cuts to Social Security and Medicare and avoid a shutdown by passing 2024 federal spending bills. If you have already signed on and sent a letter, thank you for helping and you do not have to do it again.

Click here to send our letter

Instructions:

  1. Click the above link.
  2. Click ‘Start Writing’ in the right-hand column.
  3. Select your prefix (ex. Mr. or Mrs.).
  4. Select “Government Operations and Politics” as the topic.
  5. Click ‘Send Letter’.

Protecting Your Email & Avoiding Online Scams Webinar

RPEC is committed to helping our members wherever possible. This includes educating them on ways to protect their email from potential hacking or intrusion and avoiding various scams they may encounter through their email.

We will be hosting a one-hour long educational webinar on Protecting Your Email & Avoiding Online Scams on Friday, September 8th from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm.

You need to register in advance through Zoom using the following link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvceqprTwoEtco79jvKTngyTZv-En5b-rb. Zoom will confirm your registration and send you a link to the meeting. We will send you a reminder link a day prior to the meeting as well.

We all encounter potential scams through email and seniors tend to be the more vulnerable population targeted by scammers. This webinar will provide you with the tools and knowledge to better secure your email, identify potential scams more easily, and reduce your chances of being scammed. We hope you will take an hour and join us!

Collaborating for a Dementia-Friendly Washington Virtual Conference

Do you want to make your town or city a more welcoming and inclusive place for people with dementia and their families? Join us for “Collaborating for a Dementia-Friendly Washington: Moving Forward Together,” a statewide conference featuring strategies, programs and initiatives you can use to build a more dementia-friendly community!

  • A 2-day virtual event, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., Tues/Wed September 19-20, with a pre-conference virtual “happy hour” from 4 – 5 p.m. on Monday, September 18.
  • NEW this year, partners in Clark, King, Spokane, and Whatcom Counties are organizing in-person networking events for conference attendees the afternoon of Tues., Sept. 19. Information will be posted on the conference website by Sept. 1.

The conference is for anyone who wants to take action to make their community more dementia-friendly, including people with dementia, caregivers, and people who work or volunteer in a variety of public settings: aging and senior services, arts and culture, chambers of commerce, city government, community centers, cultural associations, faith communities, libraries, neighborhood groups, parks and recreation, service clubs, and social or health care services. Whether you joined us for a previous conference or are attending for the first time, you’ll take away plenty of practical ideas and helpful tools!

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO REGISTER, VISIT: https://depts.washington.edu/mbwc/events/dfc

Medical Bill Negotiating Services

Do you have outstanding medical bills that are proving difficult to pay off? Through the Union Plus Medical Bill Negotiating Service by Health Advocates, RPEC members have access to FREE assistance with negotiating large out-of-pocket medical expenses and bill reductions with providers. This service negotiates on your behalf to reduce costs and establish an affordable payment plan. 

Requirement: You must have at least one outstanding unreimbursed medical expense of $400 or more from a single medical provider. There is no limit on the number of providers the service will negotiate with.

For more details and to apply: https://www.unionplus.org/benefits/health/medical-bill-negotiating-service?union=AFSCME

If you have questions about accessing member benefits, contact RPEC Membership Coordinator Jakob Canup, your point of contact for RPEC benefits, at (360) 352-8262 ext. 106 or jakob.canup@rpecwa.org

National Immunization Awareness Month

Each year in August, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and other partners highlight the importance of staying up to date on vaccinations at all stages of life.

Adult vaccines recommended by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices are now available under Medicare prescription drug plans (Part D) at no cost to you. These include vaccinations for whooping cough, shingles, tetanus, and more. Speak to your doctor about which recommended vaccines are right for you to protect yourself from severe illnesses and disease.

For more information about savings with the new prescription drug law that went into effect in January 2023, and to find other resources, visit https://www.medicare.gov/about-us/prescription-drug-law or https://www.cms.gov/inflation-reduction-act-and-medicare/resources-0. You can also reach out to Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) to speak with highly trained, unbiased volunteers who can help you navigate Medicare by calling 1-800-562-6900 or 1-360-586-0241.

Upcoming Events:

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

  • Sept. 1 – Monthly Legislative Update Call (2:00 pm)
  • Sept. 4 – Council Office Closed, Labor Day
  • Sept. 8 – Political Action Committee Meeting (10:00 am)
  • Sept. 8 – Protecting Your Email & Avoiding Online Scams Webinar (1:00 pm)
  • Sept. 12 – WSARA Convention, Federal Way
  • Sept. 14 – Healthcare Workgroup Meeting (3:30 pm)
  • Sept. 15 – Monthly Leadership Call (1:00 pm)
  • Sept. 18 – Senior Lobby (10:00 am)
  • Sept. 19 – Select Committee on Pension Policy Meeting (10:00 am)
  • Sept. 22 – Pension Policy Workgroup Meeting (10:00 am)
  • Sept. 28 – Healthcare Workgroup Meeting (3:30 pm)

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Text RPEC to 237263 to sign-up 

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