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November 2021

SPOKANE CHAPTER 32 NEWSLETTER

Published Monthly except July and August

www.narfespokane.org



20 - 09 Advocates for Current and Former Federal Employees November 2020




NOVEMBER CHAPTER MEETING MONDAY Nov. 9, 2020 - 11:30AM ZOOM MEETING: To Join the Zoom Meeting, you can either call 253-215-8782 and enter: Meeting ID: 847 6320 6413 Passcode: 044180 Or you can click here: NARFE ZOOM LINK

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGEScott 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 scottsoriole@q.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 Meetings are both in person and on Zoom for your convenience.


To Join the Zoom Meeting, To Join the Zoom Meeting, you can either call 253-215-8782 and enter:

Meeting ID: 847 6320 6413

Passcode: 044180

Or you can click here: NARFE ZOOM LINK

LEGISLATION Roger Bosky

BIG SPENDER


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 de