Chair Talk

2022

November

Our records indicate you currently have a flat dollar amount being withheld from your pension payment for your federal tax deduction. Effective Jan. 1, 2023, this will no longer be an option due to changes the IRS is making to...

August

The JEC for Pharmacy Benefits has chosen OptumRx to continue as the provider of the Prescription Drug Benefits for Active State Employees and Retirees. The SERA representative...

July

The past 2 ½ years have not been kind to SERA Chapters and members. I am sure that many of us have lost family members and friends because of the Covid-19 issue. Many state employees are still not back to their original work-stations full time...

June

I have been receiving complaints (email, telephone and letters) from retirees about all the brochures and information from the States Blue Cross PPO MA program...

March

I have been contacted by ORS to recruit some retiree volunteers to help with the MI-Login issues...

February

As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing efforts to expand Americans’ access to free testing, people in either Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage will be able to get over-the-counter COVID-19 tests at no cost starting...

2021

December

Most retirees that have email received the below notice from the Office of Retirement Services. ORS has received many calls and emails because of the changes made in the sign-in process for MI-ACCOUNT...

November

The past 2 years has not helped much to increase membership. In the past 2 years many Chapters have not had meetings (zoom or conference calls), nor have they printed newsletters informing members of legislation and activities that will have a direct effect on their retirees...

August

Many State Employees/Retirees may have received a postcard about a settlement claiming that BC/BS plans violated antitrust laws by entering into an agreement...

May

The Coordinating Council has determined that the rest of the Executive Board Meetings for 2021 will be done by conference call...

March

Upon your death, your personal representative (family member or executor) should contact ORS as quickly as possible. We will need...

January

Notices have been sent informing Chapters that I have scheduled a SPECIAL COORDINATING COUNCIL MEETING...

2020

December

I wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!...

November

Retirees were notified in the Retiree Benefits Bulletin that Physician’s Health Plan would be offering a Medicare Advantage Plan starting January 1, 2021...

October

The Michigan Civil Service Commission and Michigan Department of Technology, Management And Budget have approved another Memorandum of Understanding for Retiree Health Benefits...

September

This year’s election is proving to be a hotly contested one and will probably be historic. For those of you that have been hunkering down at home and getting quite bored, you might consider volunteering...

August

On July 13, 2020 an Interagency Memorandum of Understanding for Retiree Health Benefits was approved by the Civil Service Commission. The MOU had changes in the current Medicare Advantage Plan that were beneficial...

July

The Friday, August 7, 2020 Coordinating Council meeting will be a conference call...

June

I have been researching this issue extensively to try and provide some direction/suggestions to SERA members and retirees who are on Medicare as to what decisions you will need to make by July 1st when this law goes into effect...

May

I hope that all SERA members and retirees are healthy and safe. These are unusual times and we need to take care of ourselves — we are in that vulnerable age group that is more susceptible to the Coronavirus disease...

April

I sincerely hope that all retirees participated in the 2020 Census. I hope you have filled out the form and mailed it in, responded to the questions by phone or answered the questions online...

March

I was recently informed by Employee Benefits that Benefits For Life — Retiree Open enrollment will be held May 25 – June 19 this year...

February

I have been communicating with Wayne Maybaugh (Office of the State Employer) about SERA’s assistance to promote the upcoming 2020 census. Itís important that our state has an accurate count of...

January

I received the below e-mail announcing the new Director of the Office of Retirement Services...

2019

December

The Medicare Advantage meetings held in the State from 10/1 to 11/22 are over. By the numbers...

November

There have been 23 Medicare Advantage Informational meetings held so far (not including the SERA Chapter meetings) in Michigan...

October

Retirees will soon be receiving the 2019-2010 Retiree Benefits Bulletin. The Bulletin will explain the Benefit Enhancements that take effect on October 1...

September

On August 26th I received the following statement from Employee Benefits Director Bethany Beauchine...

June

Arrangements have been made to have the Friday, August 2 SERA Coordinating Council meeting to be held in Marquette...

May

I have added 3 new members to the SERA Legislative Committee. New members of the Committee are...

April

John Bantjes (89) died on Friday, March 22, 2019. John had been a longtime SERA member belonging to the Grand Rapids Chapter. John was an active member of the SERA Coordinating Council, serving as Chair...

March

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the SERA members and friends for all the get well wishes that were sent to my wife...

2018

October

State Retirees will see a “bump” in their pension checks on October 25. The increase will be $25 per month/capped at $300 per year...

September

I received the below e-mail from Employee Benefits regarding the Shingles Vaccine...

August

Governor candidates position on PA 38 (Pension tax)...

June

In the May CHAIR TALK, I forwarded some information I received from Employee Benefits regarding 0 copays for certain statins (Lovastatin, Atorvastatin and Simvastatin)...

May

Here is the documentation we received from OptumRx...

April

In late March, State Retirees received an e-mail or a letter informing them that a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request was made to the Office of Retirement Services...

March

The contract for the Vision Care Benefits will be over soon. A Joint Evaluation Committee (JEC) is being formed...

February

In January, BC/BS distributed a letter identifying a processing error in medical vision claims. Apparently VSP was processing/paying a portion of the medical eye exam...

For previous issues of Chair Talk, see the archive.