SPOKANE CHAPTER 32 NEWSLETTER
Published Monthly except July and August
20 - 09 Advocates for Current and Former Federal Employees November 2020
NOVEMBER CHAPTER MEETING (Via Zoom) MONDAY Nov. 9, 2020 - 11:30AM Zoom Meeting Details: To Join the Zoom Meeting, you can either:
Call 253-215-8782 and enter the Meeting ID: 847 6320 6413 and Passcode: 044180 Or you can CLICK ON THIS LINK. PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Scott Robinson
We held our second membership meeting via Zoom on October 12th at 11:30 with fourteen participants, including our guest speaker. I invite all of you to join our next meeting on November 9th, when we vote for three new Directors for the next three years. Please mark your calendars, and we will provide details for joining the meeting.
Our 2021 average FEHB premiums will increase 4.9%, but our 2021 COLA will increase only 1.3%. For me, I expect to see an extra $30 per month next year, which is better than a minus $30 per month. Overall, premiums for Dental and Vision plans will not increase, and most enrollees will not see any changes. Open season dates for FEHB are November 9 through December 14. You do not have to do anything if you like the health coverage you presently have. Also, if you are like me and have Blue Cross Blue Shield – Basic Plan and Medicare Part B, then remember to request your $800 credit from BCBS to offset Medicare premiums for yourself and for your spouse (total of $1,600). You have until the end of the year to claim this year’s credit.
I am continuing to recruit the Membership Chairperson, who could be you. Please call me at 208-661-7695 or email me at email@example.com if you are interested in becoming a more active member. Safely enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday.
DATES FOR YOUR CALENDAR
November 9, 2020 11:30 AM Due to the present health situation all Meetings are virtual until further notice.
To Join the Zoom Meeting, you can either:
Call 253-215-8782 and enter the Meeting ID 847 6320 6413 and Passcode: 044180
Or you can CLICK THIS LINK.
LEGISLATION Roger Bosky
Congratulations! We will receive a 1.3% raise in our next year’s retirement benefits. However, our health care benefits will increase by an average of 4.6%. This is just another good argument for changing how OPM figures our cost-of-living increases. NARFE has long advocated for using the CPI-E for this purpose which would include health care and food costs, which are such a big item for us retirees.
Congress has now recognized this problem, and the House has proposed H.R.8598 to address the adverse impact on us. The bill would provide for social security and civil service retirees a 3% raise in 2021 and the use of the CPI-E for future cost-of-living raises.
Also, of interest, the Federal Salary Council has reported that Federal employees earn 23% less on average than their private sector counterparts.
Finally, on October 21 the President signed a disturbing executive order. It requires agency heads to identify “Schedule F“ policy-making employees within 90 days. These employees will be at-will and, thus, be stripped of all civil service protections. This step will further politicize the civil service.
NARFE-PAC MaryAnn Bosky
You can contribute to NARFE-PAC at our monthly meetings at Darcy’s or by completing the NARFE-PAC contribution form in the NARFE magazine. I will have pins for a $25 contribution at our meeting.
The more members we have the more power to protect our benefits/retirement. We are speaking to all members not just those retired.
PROGRAM Chris Smith and Joanne Welch
Last month, we heard from Dr. Pablo Monsivais, PhS. MPH with WSU’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. His graphics and narrative on CoVid-19 were highly informative, starting with world epidemics of the past. He covered present treatments for CoVid-19 and concerns for the upcoming flu season with the potential for a twin-demic. His conclusion was that Covid-19 is not just about biology, but also about inequities in social and economic circumstances… and those on the low end of the spectrum suffer the most.
Next month’s speaker will be Ann Ozuna, better known as the “Retirement Lady.” Her information about the options for next year’s federal health benefits will be particularly important since CoVid-19 has derailed most health fairs. Sharpen your pencils and take notes during this session. Open Season is November 9 to December 14, 2020. Here is a teaser: BlueCross BlueShield’s family option is now cheaper than their Plus One. Go figure. Please join us for her enlightening overview. We have decided to invite the other Eastern Washington chapters to join us for this Zoom meeting as well.
In December, Steve Roy, newly elected President of the Washington State Federation (NARFE), will join us for a look at things to come in 2021!
VICE PRESIDENT Arlene Patton
Combined Federal Campaign (CFC): This year’s campaign, Show Some Love-Be the Face of Change runs from September 21, 2020 to January 15, 2021. Due to COVID-19 a larger emphasis on virtual activities will be the norm. Information on the Cascadia CFC can be found on their website: cascadiacfc.givecfc.org. You can also make your donation through that website.
MEMBERSHIP Sandy Cook
NARFE Mission Statement:
· To support legislation beneficial to current and potential federal annuitants and to oppose legislation contrary to their interests.
· To promote the general welfare of current and potential federal annuitants by advising them with respect to their rights under retirement laws and regulations.
· To cooperate with other organizations and associations in furtherance of these general objectives.
This mission is critical and timely as Congress and the administration consider unprecedented cuts to federal pay and benefits. Each new member strengthens the message to Congress and makes our national outreach stronger. It also shows NARFES resolve in maintaining a strong and effective federal workforce.
When you are talking to a possible member, let them know how long we have been in existence and give them an example of the impact NARFE has made for them, such as prevented impact to our Health Benefits and prevented Retirement, Pay and Benefit Cuts. I think they might be interested.
Let us build those numbers up again!
Get your regular flu shot, be safe, be well.
Additional Membership information from National Office.
NARFE will once again sponsor a membership drive through December 31. Current members earn $10 for each new member they recruit, as well as other prizes. The health and safety of our members is paramount as we continue to deal with the coronavirus. Therefore, NARFE encourages you to recruit remotely in order to minimize the potential risk of exposure to COVID-19. Use your email, telephone, social media, and Chapter 32 webpage to promote the benefits of membership and drive prospective members to the "JOIN" link on NARFE.org. Remember to provide new prospects with your NARFE member ID number so you get credit when they join.
If you have questions, please email NARFE at firstname.lastname@example.org or call NARFE at 800.456.8410 (press 1 for Membership). Thank you for your support and for helping to keep NARFE growing and thriving!
NARFE is really more than just a great magazine. Let them know!
Promote NARFE anytime you can. The more members we have the more power to protect our benefits and retirement!
NARFE = YOUR BEST BET FOR THE FUTURE!
SPOKANE SERVICE CENTER Narfe0032@gmail.com 509-624-9465
SUNSHINE Susan Harvey
Autumn was awfully short! Now that dark, cold days of winter are upon us, STAY SAFE and STAY WELL!
Chapter 32 sends birthday and anniversary wishes to all who celebrated in October and November.
Jean Flechel informed us of Mabel Rantzow’s passing in Seattle. She celebrated her 105th birthday last summer. Also passing recently are, Janette Lippincott, June Dittmer, and Joan Brendmoen.
Sandy Cook recently lost her brother and has moved her mother here from Florida to care for her.
REMINDER, spouses can be members OR can take over the membership of a deceased member. If you are interested in continuing this valuable membership, please contact Scott Robinson. He is currently recruiting for a Membership Chair. If you are interested, please contact him.
If you become aware of good news, illnesses, surgeries, or a death of a member or family member, please contact me.
ALZHEIMER’S Pat Hegerberg
The Estrogen connection
An animal study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease has found that estrogen replacement may protect against the development and progression of Alzheimer's disease in women. The editor-in-chief of the journal, George Perry, Ph.D., further added that "Linking estrogen deficiency to the tau changes of AD provides the missing mechanistic link to the greater risk of AD in women and significantly suggests therapeutic avenues to reduce AD."
In the animal trial, researchers found that estrogen replacement reversed the pathologizing of tau, the nerve cells that are affected in AD, through antioxidant activity. According to co-lead investigator Massimo Tabaton, M.D., from the Unit of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Genova in Italy, the "results suggest that an early postmenopausal estrogen replacement may be protective against AD."
Spokane Washington Chapter 32
PO Box 4592
Spokane, WA 99220
National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association 32