Monday, April 15, 2024

RPEC Weekly NewsFlash, February 16, 2024

RPEC Weekly NewsFlash, February 16, 2024

URGENT – Sign In PRO Today on SHB 1985 & HB 2481

We urgently need your help! On Tuesday, February 20, two of RPEC’s most important bills are having public hearings in the Senate Ways & Means Committee:

  • Substitute House Bill 1985: Provides a one-time 3% COLA to PERS 1 and TRS 1 retirees not to exceed $110 per month.
  • House Bill 2481: Prevents PEBB retirees from becoming uninsured during their final month of life by waiving final health insurance premium payments.

We need ALL RPEC members to register PRO positions on both bills on the Legislature’s website before 3:00 PM on Tuesday, February 20. Completing this task is quick and easy.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Click here to go to the Legislature’s website.
  2. You will be prompted to state your position. Click the drop-down menu to select “Pro”.
  3. Provide your first and last name, email address, organization, city, state, zip code, and phone number.
  4. Under “Organization”, spell out “Retired Public Employees Council of WA”.
  5. Click the box to indicate that you are not a robot.
  6. Click “Submit Registration”.
  7. Click here and repeat steps 2 through 6 for HB 2188.

Please be sure to register support for both bills. Thank you for supporting our legislative priorities. Please feel free to share this message and encourage other Washington residents to register their support for the bills. If you have any questions, please contact RPEC Government Affairs Coordinator Emmett Mills at emmett.mills@rpecwa.org.

Breaking News:  Health Care Authority Opens Registration for Another Virtual Town Hall Meeting & Adds Resources to Website

Are you covered under Uniform Medical Plan (UMP) Classic Medicare through the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB)? Or, are you interested in possibly switching to that plan? The Health Care Authority (HCA) is exploring a potential new option that could significantly reduce monthly premiums for this plan by changing the plan’s current pharmaceutical benefit to an employer-managed Plan D pharmacy benefit. The medical portion of UMP Classic Medicare would remain unchanged if the new pharmaceutical benefit is adopted by the PEB Board this spring. The agency is asking for retiree feedback this month.  You can share your input by attending the last open virtual town hall (registration link below) or by emailing or writing to HCA. (See details below).  All feedback must be received by March 8.

Virtual Town Hall Added

You can provide input through an additional virtual town hall meeting that is scheduled for February 27. Space is also still available in the in-person town hall to be held in Olympia.  Register today to provide your input. On the HCA website, access the link under the header “Join the conversation” will take you to the webinar recording and how to sign up for town halls. All participants have been asked to watch the webinar before attending a town hall meeting. The webinar provides detailed information about the potential new pharmaceutical benefit.

READ MORE >>

RPEC Bill Tracker 2-16-2024

Want to stay up to date on the progress of bills that impact your retirement security? Check out RPEC’s bill tracker. It’s updated every Friday and includes important information on the most important bills of this legislative session. The tracker allows you to stay up to date on our bills and our work to influence their progress. Click here to view the bill tracker.

Have questions about any of the bills that RPEC is paying attention to? Please join us on Fridays at 2:00 PM for RPEC’s weekly Legislative Update Zoom call. Each session includes an update on the progress of RPEC’s priorities and an opportunity for members to ask questions. All members are welcome to participate. Here is the meeting login information:

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89045365250?pwd=cHYvbU80d08xTXRLTmpOZGF1VW53QT09

Meeting ID: 890 4536 5250
Passcode: 320296
Dial in: (253) 215-8782

Significant Discounts on Life Insurance Plans

Are you taking advantage of the benefits you have as an RPEC member? One valuable aspect of your membership is that you have access to discounts and cost savings on a variety of services through AFSCME Advantage.

An example of these services is a life insurance plan provided by The Hartford. There are 2 available plans: Term-to-70 and Guaranteed Issue. The cost for the plan is dependent upon the applicants’ age and is also discounted to a union rate equivalent.

For more information, visit the webpage for the life insurance options available through AFSCME Advantage. https://www.unionplus.org/benefits/insurance/life-insurance?union=AFSCME

To access these benefits, you will need your AFSCME ID number. If you don’t know your ID, please contact the RPEC Membership Coordinator Jakob Canup at (360) 352-8262 ext. 106 or jakob.canup@rpecwa.org.

Upcoming Events:

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

  • Feb. 19 – Council Office closed, Presidents’ Day
  • Feb. 22 – PEBB UMP Classic Medicare Town Hall (2:00 pm, virtual)
  • Feb. 22 – Healthcare Workgroup (3:30 pm)
  • Feb. 23 – Legislative Update Call (2:00 pm)
  • Feb. 26 – Executive Board Meeting (9:00 am)
  • Feb. 29 – PEBB UMP Classic Medicare Town Hall, in-person in Olympia (10:00 am)
  • Mar. 1 – RPEC Convention Call
  • Mar. 1 – Legislative Update Call (2:00 pm)
  • Mar. 7 – Sine Die (end of Legislative Session)
  • Mar. 8 – Legislative Update Call (2:00 pm)
  • Mar. 14 – Healthcare Workgroup (3:30 pm)
  • Mar. 15 – Legislative Committee Meeting (10:00 am)
  • Mar. 21 – Public Employees Benefits Board (9:00 am)

Your Voice for Retirement Security!

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