Friday, April 19, 2024

RPEC Weekly Newsflash, June 30, 2023

RPEC Weekly Newsflash, June 30, 2023

PEBB Medicare Retiree Plans Face Proposed Premium Increases

On Thursday, June 29th, the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) met to discuss proposed Medicare plan premium increases for 2024. All available plans to public retirees receiving their healthcare insurance under PEBB are facing increases in premiums, from 3% to an astounding 22%. Although it is typical to see premiums increase year to year, RPEC is particularly concerned about the proposed 22% increase to the Uniform Medical Plan (UMP) Classic Medicare, as just last year RPEC was instrumental in forming a coalition of retiree organizations in efforts to stave off a proposal by PEBB to discontinue the UMP Classic Medicare Plan. This plan, which is PEBB’s most popular plan, offers the most flexibility and treatment coverage for seniors who face a variety of health issues, many being critical and severe.

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CMS Releases Revised Guidance for Historic Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program

From the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

For the first time in history, Medicare has the ability to directly negotiate the prices of covered prescription drugs due to President Biden’s historic prescription drug law, the Inflation Reduction Act. Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released revised guidance detailing the requirements and parameters of the new Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program for the first round of negotiations, which will occur during 2023 and 2024 and result in prices that will be effective beginning in 2026. Alongside other provisions in the new drug law that increase the affordability of health care and prescription drug costs, the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program strengthens Medicare’s ability to serve people with Medicare now and for generations to come.

READ MORE >>

View the Medicare Drug Price Program Fact Sheet here 

Register today – Members-Only Benefits Webinar, July 28, 1-2:00 PM

Do you know about the various member-only benefits offered by RPEC? Whether you’re a new member or just looking to maximize the value of your membership, register today for the RPEC Benefits Webinar on July 28th from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM. The webinar will include an overview of RPEC member-only benefits, including discounts on dental services with Bright Now! Dental and hearing services with Hearing in America, as well as various other cost savings and discounts through AFSCME Advantage. Utilizing these benefits can improve your fixed income by saving you money on various services. Easily offset the cost of your membership by saving money with RPEC’s member-only benefits! 

Register here: https://rpecwa.org/members-only-benefits-webinar/ 

Member-only benefits: https://rpecwa.org/member-only-benefits/ 

Register today – RPEC Speakers’ Series featuring Congresswoman Maria Gluesenkamp Perez, August 2, 2:30-3:30 PM

Registration is now open for RPEC’s first members-only virtual Speakers’ Series: Congresswoman Maria Gluesenkamp Perez Discusses Threats to Medicare & Social Security.  Congresswoman Gluesenkamp Perez represents Washington’s 3rd Congressional District (the southernmost portion of Western Washington to include Lewis, Pacific, Wahkiakum, Cowlitz, Clark and Skamania counties). While new to Congress as of January 2023, Congresswoman Gluesenkamp Perez is quickly earning a reputation for her ability to work effectively on the bipartisan issues prioritized by RPEC members. Her presentation will be followed by a Q & A period.  Look for more details in next week’s Newsflash. 

Register here >> 

RPEC Members Attend Leadership Training

On Monday, June 26, RPEC leaders from across the state attended RPEC’s annual Leadership Training. The event, which was held virtually, had nearly 80 RPEC members in attendance, who engaged in valuable discussion about best practices and information regarding membership, mobilization, chapter meetings, outreach, policies, procedures, and RPEC’s organizational structure. Thank you to all who participated and took the initiative to strengthen their skills and knowledge to better support members and ensure the success of the organization. We look forward to working with new and seasoned leaders to expand the influence and achievements of RPEC in the years to come!

View the Training video here >> 

RPEC Connecting with Local Union Members Statewide  

In an effort to expand RPEC’s visibility among AFSCME Council 28 – Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) active employees ahead of their retirement, RPEC is exhibiting and giving presentations at union events.  The goal of these efforts is to share resources and the benefits of membership, outline the opportunities RPEC provides for members to advocate for their retirement security, and highlight the significant legislative achievements RPEC has garnered for members. We aim for all members of local unions in Washington, who are eligible to join RPEC, to learn about RPEC and join as Associate Members prior to retirement and migrate to full membership status and involvement upon official retirement.

WFSE started up their Member Resource Fairs again in February 2023. RPEC has been invited to all resource fairs hosted by WFSE, granting us the special opportunity to connect with their soon-to-be retirees.

On Wednesday, June 28th RPEC Membership Coordinator Jakob Canup and RPEC Chapter 30 President Debbie Haigh represented RPEC at a resource fair at the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) in Kent. There were many positive conversations and interest in RPEC and its advocacy efforts for members. Previous resource fairs that RPEC has attended were in Tacoma and Centralia.

In July, RPEC will attend resource fairs in Bremerton and Vancouver. Are you aware of any resource fair opportunities in your region? Contact the Jakob Canup, Jakob.canup@rpecwa.org, at the Council Office with any information on potential opportunities for RPEC to recruit and get visibility!

Upcoming Events:

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

  • July 4 – Council Office closed, Independence Day
  • July 7 – Monthly Legislative Update Call (2:00 pm)
  • July 10 – Council Office internal team retreat (office closed 11 AM-5 PM)
  • July 12 – Public Employees Benefits Board Meeting (9:00 am)
  • July 13 – Healthcare Workgroup Meeting (3:30 pm)
  • July 14 – Legislative Committee Meeting (10:00 am)
  • July 17 – Senior Lobby (10:00 am)
  • July 18 – Select Committee on Pension Policy Meeting (10:00 am)
  • July 19 – Public Employees Benefits Board Meeting (9:00 am)
  • July 19 – WFSE Resource Fair, Bremerton (11:00 am)
  • July 20 – WFSE Member Resource Fair, Vancouver (5:30 pm)
  • July 26 – Public Employees Benefits Board Meeting (9:00 am)
  • July 27 – Membership Committee Meeting (10:00 am)
  • July 27 – Healthcare Workgroup Meeting (3:30 pm)
  • July 28 – RPEC Benefits Webinar (1:00 pm)
  • August 2 – Speakers’ Series featuring Congresswoman Maria Gluesenkamp Perez (2:30-3:30 pm)
  • August 4 – Monthly Legislative Update Call (2:00 pm)

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