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December 2021

SPOKANE CHAPTER 32 NEWSLETTER

Published Monthly except July and August

www.narfespokane.org



21 – 10 Advocates for Current and Former Federal Employees December 2021




DECEMBER CHAPTER MEETING MONDAY DEC. 13, 2021 - 11:30 AM 11:30 AM Social Darcy’s Restaurant 10512 E Sprague Ave. Spokane Valley, WA 99206

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Scott Robinson


I have had the honor of being Spokane Chapter President for the past two years. Thank you for extending your faith in me for another two years. Other recently elected officers are Kathy Brooks (Vice-President), Arlene Patton (Secretary), and Keith Townsend (Treasurer). Our nine Directors are Gisela Moyle (2022), JoAnne Welsh (2022), Susan Harvey (2022), Bill Beatty (2023), Margie Dennis (2023), Wanda Faulkner (2023), Ken Kaul (2024), Pat Hegerberg (2024), and Roger Bosky (2024). Thank you all for serving Spokane Chapter 32.

I previously shared with you all that FEHB premiums paid by federal employees and retirees will increase an average of 3.8% and our COLA will increase 5.9% in 2022. But wait, there’s more to this story. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) just announced the standard Medicare Part B premium in 2022 will jump a whopping 14.5% from $148.50 to $170.10 per month. This represents the largest dollar increase in premiums since the creation of Medicare Part B. CMS also announced an increase in the annual deductible for all Medicare Part B enrollees from $203 to $233 for 2022. These actions will put an undue financial burden on most seniors.


Tami and I will seek warmer climes during this winter as we transition into Winter Texans. We intend to seek out the Corpus Christie Chapter meetings during our stay.

I encourage you to safely enjoy Christmas and New Year’s this year. Please call me at 208-661-7695 or email me at scottsoriole@q.com if you have any questions regarding Spokane Chapter 32.



LEGISLATION . Roger Bosky

The message in our chapter president’s column describes the financial squeeze that Federal retirees face. The new cost-of-living (COLA) increase raises our benefits only to have them reduced by the increases in our health care premiums. A step toward alleviating this squeeze is the Fair COLA Act (H.R. 4315) . This measure would require the use of the CPI-E rather than the CPI-W to determine the increases for social security and federal retirees. The CPI-E is a much better measure for older recipients since it includes increases in health costs. Why not send a note to our congresspeople to tell them what we think?

The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO ) bill ( H.R. 82 ) continues to be on the congressional back burner gaining a few more co-sponsors, but not moving along the legislative process. Another bill ( H.R. 5723 ) has been introduced, but there has been no further action. This bill raises social security benefits. requires the use of the CPI-E) and eliminates the WEP/GPO. A lot of items we want all rolled into one package.

VICE PRESIDENT Arlene Patton

Total National NARFE members at the end of the 3rd quarter was 159,673. National reports that the number of memberships dropped for nonpayment of dues. The Washington State Federation membership as of 11/21/2021 was. Chapter 32 membership was 473, 266-chapter members plus 207 national only members. The Washington State Federation membership totals 4,435.

A special thanks to members that renewed the National and Chapter membership.

ALZHEIMER’S Pat Hegerberg


Curtin University, Western Australia 9/16

Published in PLOS Biology journal


Professor John Mamo and his collaborative group of Australian scientists have identified the probable “blood to brain pathway” that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.


“Our research shows that toxic protein deposits that form in the brains of people living with ALZ disease most likely leak into the brain from fat carrying particles in blood, called lipoproteins.


“This blood to brain pathway is significant because if we can manage the levels in blood of lipoprotein-amyloid and prevent their leakage into the brain, this opens up potential new treatments to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and slow memory loss.”



PROGRAM Chris Smith and Joanne Welch

Ann Ozuna, a frequent open season speaker for our chapter, joined the group in November. This year’s highlights included checking that the premium for self plus one wasn’t more expensive than the self plus family, because of increased health costs in that category due to older couples’ needs. Once again, some plans are offering an offset to Medicare B (like Blue Cross Basic), but you may need to request the reimbursement every year via a form on-line or otherwise. Call Ann at (509) 993-2283 for info if needed. Ann indicated United Concordia dental plan is worth a look. Remember you can pick any dental plan to supplement your primary health plan. Kaiser Permanente is dropping their contract with BCBS, but those of us on Medicare may be okay for the most part.