Sunday, February 25, 2024

RPEC Weekly NewsFlash, December 1, 2023

RPEC Weekly NewsFlash, December 1, 2023

Register for 2024 Legislative Day

2024 will be here before we know it, and with it, legislative session beginning on January 8. The RPEC/WEA-R Joint Legislative Day is set for January 22, 2024, and registration is open!

The day-long event begins at the Olympia Hotel at Capitol Lake where the Legislative Committee chairs from RPEC and WEA-R will lead a training on how to speak with your legislators about issues that are important to retirees. You and other constituents from your legislative district will review your meeting schedule and materials to devise a game plan over a working lunch. From there, you will bus to the Capitol to meet with your legislators and urge them to support our shared legislative priorities. Please note that there is no reception this year.

The registration period closes on January 3, 2024. For more information, visit https://rpecwa.org/2024-rpec-wea-retired-legislative-day/. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet face-to-face with your legislators and advocate with other public sector retirees to accomplish our goals.

Medicare Open Enrollment Closes Next Week!

Time is running out on the open enrollment period for Medicare.  This article contains information from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that is relevant to people who are Medicare-eligible and do not obtain their health insurance through the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB).  Information about PEBB open enrollment can be found here.

When’s the Medicare Open Enrollment Period?

Every year, Medicare’s open enrollment period is October 15 – December 7.

What’s the Medicare Open Enrollment Period?

Medicare health and drug plans can make changes each year—things like cost, coverage, and what providers and pharmacies are in their networks. October 15 to December 7 is when all people with Medicare can change their Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage for the following year to better meet their needs.

How do people know if they need to change plans?

People in a Medicare health or prescription drug plan should always review the materials their plans send them, like the “Evidence of Coverage” (EOC) and “Annual Notice of Change” (ANOC). If their plans are changing, they should make sure their plans will still meet their needs for the following year. If they’re satisfied that their current plans will meet their needs for next year and it’s still being offered, they don’t need to do anything.

Where can people find Medicare plan information or compare plans?

1-800-MEDICARE or Medicare.gov.

Where can I get answers to my questions and unbiased advice?

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner’s State Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) program provides unbiased advice and assistance to help people navigate Medicare.  Call them during business hours at 800-562-6900 or click here to contact SHIBA online.

PSLA Food Bank – Seattle

There are many ways to celebrate the season of giving as an individual and as an RPEC member. This year, Puget Sound Labor Agency partnered with local shelters to provide Thanksgiving meals for 675 people in Seattle. Our very own Mike Warren attended again this year to host the annual Chapter 3 Food & Toy Drive. Thank you to the Puget Sound Labor Agency for making a difference on Thanksgiving for Seattle families and thank you to Mike Warren (see picture below) for his commitment to serving his community, all while representing RPEC.

Do you want to get involved with giving during this holiday season? Check with your local food bank to see what assistance and consumables they need. Talk with other members of your chapter about partnering up with you to help your local food bank or other social program.

PSARA Webinar – Dec. 4

The Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action (PSARA) is one of RPEC’s many partner organizations that shares our legislative priorities, including protecting and expanding Medicare and preventing its privatization. PSARA is hosting a webinar on December 4th from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm featuring Dr. Claudia Fegan, an internal medicine physician, Chief Medical Officer of Cook County Health in Chicago, and Immediate Past President of the Health & Medicine Policy Research in Illinois, an organization committed to building health equity in the health care system. Dr. Fegan will discuss how racial disparities in health care outcomes and access to health care services for Medicare beneficiaries can be impacted by Medicare Advantage.

To register for the webinar, visit: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_giZWkes_RL6mSz71YzU6Xw

For more information, email organizer@psara.org.

Watch Your Wallet Webinar

The Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA) hosted a webinar on November 27th which carried a presentation given by staff from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). CFPB is a federal organization that was established in 2010 and is committed to ensuring fair treatment of consumers by financial institutions. Within CFPB is the Office for Older Americans, which works to aid older consumers in making healthy financial decisions, identify and address emerging risks to older consumers, help older adults recognize the precursors of predatory practices, and coordinate its efforts with other federal agencies. CFPB has a plethora of resources available to support older Americans facing medical and/or non-medical debt in retirement.

Watch the webinar recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpEzzc4aaR8

Download a copy of the slideshow here.

Upcoming Events:

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

  • Dec. 4 – PSARA Webinar (5:00 pm)
  • Dec. 8 – Legislative Committee Meeting (10:00 am)
  • Dec. 11 – Executive Board Meeting (10:00 am)
  • Dec. 12 – Select Committee on Pension Policy Meeting (10:00 am)
  • Dec. 13 – Health Care is a Human Right Meeting (5:00 pm)
  • Dec. 14 – Healthcare Workgroup Meeting (3:30 pm)
  • Dec. 18 – Senior Lobby (10:00 am)
  • Dec. 25 – Jan. 1 – Council Office Closed, Winter Holidays

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