FEHBP OPEN SEASON STARTS NOVEMBER 11:
FEHBP Open Season runs from November 11, 2019 - December 9, 2010. Changes will be effective January 1, 2020. This is the time of year to ensure that you have the right health, dental or vision insurance coverage for you and your family. Take time to review changes in your household, health, medical needs and compare plans that are best suited for you needs. Different plans are unique to different needs and can save on your out-of-pocket medical and dependent care expenses for the upcoming year.
 
BCBS MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENT:
Basic Option members who have Medicare Parts A and B (doesn't have to be primary) can get reimbursed for paying Medicare Part B premiums. In 2020, the reimbursement amount is increasing from $600 to $800. Each member in your household who has Medicare Parts A and B coverage can be reimbursed $800.
 
OTHER MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENT:
Several other FEHBP Plans also reimburse for Medicare payments. If you have information from other providers, please send for sharing. Open season is the time to make any changes you need.

 

MORE ABOUT OPEN SEASON:

Open season for making changes in health insurance started today and will continue through December 9, 2019. Below is information copied from: https://retireefehb.opm.gov/Annuitant/Home/Remember, if you do not want to change your present insurance coverage, do not do anything. Your current coverage will continue automatically unless your plan no longer participates in the FEHB program.

 

In order to access Open Season Online, you must register every year with OPM.. OPM does not retain registration information for your FEHB on-line account from previous Open Seasons, therefore, you must register every year. Click here to Register for 2019 To create a user ID and password you will need your annuity claim number (CSA or CSF), and your social security number or email address that is on file with OPM. Once you register or sign in, you can select from the following:

  • Make an enrollment change or reenroll
  • Review and Update Dependent Information
  • Review health plan brochures
  • Review information on canceling/suspending your enrollment
  • Review information on paying your health benefit premiums directly to OPM
  • Perform an address change
  • Provide or Update your email address
  • View frequently asked questions
  • Review an Open Season Health Benefits Guide
  • Review the Health Benefits Election Form
  • View Transaction History
  • Go to OPM's Comparison Tool
  • Log Off

If you experience difficulties using Open Season Online you can call Open Season Express at our toll-free number, 1-800-332-9798, to complete your transaction.

 

This Site Can Only Be Used By Federal Retirees, Survivor Annuitants, or Former Spouse Annuitants

 

FLORIDA RETIRED ANNUAL STEAKOUT
Here we go.......Thanksgiving is just around the corner, then comes Christmas then New Year's follows soon after... and then it is time for the Florida Chapter UPMA Retired sponsored STEAKOUT-TIME, Saturday January 18, 2020, at Eustis FL Community Center! 
Most of the details are on the attached Steakout Registration Form. However, if you will be staying overnight, please let me know as soon as possible how many nights and when you will arrive. There is a huge antique extravaganza in town that same weekend, so rooms are at a premium but I have a few rooms blocked. Prices vary from $119 to $139, which includes continental breakfast. All rooms are no smoking. 
National President Dan Heins and First Lady Karen along with National Retiree President (and Florida's own!) Rodney Boland and First Lady Mary Jane will be joining us. The Steakout is for active and retired UPMA members from across the country.
If you have any questions, please email me at Barbara.whidden@aol.com or call me at 352-669-5724. If no answer, try 352-408-4578. We look forward to seeing everyone from past events, PLUS first-timers who haven't joined us before. As of today, more than two months out, we have 25 people registered! We are off to a great start! Ya'll come! 

 

 

FREE REGISTRATION - UPMA 2020 Legislative Summit  : Feb 23-26

 

Oh UPMA Retirees - FREE REGISTRATION  is yours!

These issues are especially affecting retirees: 
   New WEP reform bill: Public Servants Protection & Fairness Act -
   HR 4540.

   Fair COLA for Seniors Act -HR 1553. Needs co-sponsors to get it 
       through the legislative process. Contact your representative.

 Come to the Legislative Summit and make your voices heard! Who better than you - the retirees, the seniors that are being effected.

Send a copy of your registration form to OH UPMA Retiree Treasurer - Anita Rieger for reimbursement. Find form: UPMA Leader, Sept/Oct pg 6 0r go to UPMA Nat’l website: www.unitedpma.org

Hazel   10/19/2019

2020 COLA: from Bill Tierney       
The 2020 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will be 1.6 percent for Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) annuities, Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) annuities and Social Security benefits. This is a lower federal retiree COLA than last year when CSRS annuitants received 2.8 percent and FERS annuitants received 2 percent.
 
WHEN IS THE FEDERAL RETIREE COLA PAID? Info from OPM
Cost-of-Living Adjustments are effective each December first. The adjustment appears in your payment on the first business day of January, which is when your benefit for December is paid.
 

 

State Health Insurane Assistance Program -SHIP

Open season starts November 11 and ends December 9. If you are new to Medicare, or have question about how Medicare works together with a Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan, don't wait until then, and get caught up in the crowd. Every state has a State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) office. SHIP is a free health benefits counseling service for Medicare eligible retirees or families. SHIP is an independent program funded by Federal agencies and is not affiliated with any insurance industry. If you have questions, make an appointment now to sit down with a counselor and go over your Medicare coverage and how it pairs with your FEHB coverage. To find your local SHIP office, visit www.shiptacenter.org, or call 1-877-839-2675.

USPS NEWS FOR RETIREES:
The Postal Service is pleased to announce a new communication platform. Short Messaging Service (SMS) text messaging is now available. Stay up to date on important announcements, dates and information you need as a retiree. To subscribe text RETIREE to 21333. If you opt in, you will incur the cost of using SMS text messaging (normal rates will apply). This is NOT a UPMA service, but is a service of the USPS for Retirees. 

 

TSP modernization act effective

For several years, the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) asked Congress to pass legislation to make withdrawals from the TSP less rigorous in order to allow TSP participants to withdraw their TSP accounts with more flexibility. In 2017, Congress passed the TSP Modernization Act, and it has taken the TSP two years to make the necessary programming changes and form revisions in order to implement the new withdrawal options. These new withdrawal options took effect on Sept. 15, 2019.

House Committee on Ways and Means 

, introduced the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act of 2019, H.R. 3934. The bill would reform the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) by changing the Social Security benefit calculation for WEP-affected beneficiaries. 

the Social Security 2100 Act, H.R. 860, introduced by Rep. John Larson, D-CT, which the committee debated in a hearing on July 25. The Social Security 2100 Act proposes numerous adjustments to improve and expand Social Security benefits, however, it does not extend these changes to federal annuities.

MILITARY RECOGNITION PROJECT: from President Jack
Eva Finley, our National Retiree Editor, is planning recognition of Military Veterans at Veteran Homes in the area of the Mohegan Sun. (national convention) I am asking each state to be a participant in the "Lap Blankets for Veterans" program. Look for simple instructions from Eva forthcoming soon. Time and cost involved is minimal but the rewards will be enormous. The Blankets will be presented personally at the homes. I am excited about this endeavor and look forward to further information from Eva and I hope you are as well. Keith Miner from New York, who is coordinating our Military Recognition Ceremony at the national convention, is working with Eva to get the blankets to their new homes and into the lives of Veterans in the area. Look for something special coming for our Veterans during the special Military Recognition Ceremony. 

 

lap blanket instructions
veteran lap blankets.docx
Microsoft Word document [13.1 KB]

News from NARFE:

In response to Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-VA, introducing the Equal COLA Act – legislation that would provide retirees of the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) with cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) to their annuities equal to the increase in consumer prices (as measured by the CPI-W from the relevant period) when the change is greater than 2 percent .

“Pursuant to federal law and the annual change in consumer prices measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the COLA to Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) annuities and Social Security benefits will be 2.8 percent in 2019. Unfortunately, it will be only 2 percent for FERS annuities. 

“Nearly 800,000 FERS retirees are wondering why they are only receiving a 2 percent COLA when consumer prices increased by 2.8 percent. The unsatisfying answer dates back to when FERS was created in the 1980s and a bargain was struck in Congress that limited the FERS COLA to 2 percent when consumer prices increase between 2 and 3 percent. That was the wrong policy then, as it is now, because it prevents FERS annuities from keeping up with inflation, which is the whole point of a COLA.” 

Members are encouraged to contact their members of Congress and ask for their support of this bill.

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