News of Important Issues Affecting AMCRE Members and All Mendocino County Retired Employees
Regarding Retiree Health Care Benefits


This is the place for news of issues that may be of concern to AMCRE members, other Mendocino County retired employees, and current active Mendocino County employees who were hired before September 1998, regarding retiree health care benefits. We urge you to check here to keep up to date on this critical matter. This is the place to keep up on our take on the CEO's Retiree Health Benefits Committee and its meetings. We will also report here on any special meetings, notices, and announcements that pertain to our Health Benefits.


HISTORY OF THE MENDOCINO COUNTY RETIREE HEALTH BENEFITS PLAN

With all the turmoil about our retiree health care benefits, lately, we thought it would be a good idea to review the history of the plan. At the AMCRE special meeting on 22 February 2010, Dennis Huey gave us an excellent overview of our plan's history. While I covered his talk in the notes of the meeting, as I promised there, here is a more detailed account of Dennis's presentaton.

This history link will stay on top of the page, at least for now. The latest news items will follow, below:


11 May 2012: Delta Health System's Annual Review of the Retiree Health Plan

Delta Health System's Annual Review of the Retiree Health Plan for 2011 is now on the Mendocino County Human Resources website.

This is a large .pdf file that may take a few minutes to download.

2 December 2011: Non-Medicare Eligible Retiree Health Option Review Committee Meeting 8 December 2011

Here is the agenda for the meeting with pre-medicare retirees, to explore insurance options. The meeting is schedule for 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM, 8 December 2011, in the Board of Supervisors chambers. Notice that there is also an agenda item to discuss the California Supreme Court's decision rearding REAOC's (Orange County) case. Other items of interest to non-Medicare retirees also are on the agenda.

28 November 2011: Mendocino County HR Requests e-mail addresses of pre-Medicare retirees who wish to be kept up to date on a regular basis

Pat Meek, Director of Human Resources for Mendocino County, has sent a letter out to all pre-medicare retirees, offering to keep you in touch about meetings and other information, if you provide your e-mail address to Maureen Lawrence, HR's Benefits Specialist, at lawrence@co.mendocino.ca.us. You can also call Maureen at (707) 463-6553.

21 November 2011: California Supreme Court finds in favor of REAOC over Orange County

As many of you may know, REAOC (Retired Employees Ass'n of Orange County sued when the county split the benefits pool, separating retirees from actives, after years of keeping them pooled. That of course raised premiums for retirees. REAOC claimed that the longstanding pooling created an implied contract to keep it that way (i.e. to keep health benefits costs for retirees equal to those for actives). Lower courts ruled in the county's favor. However, the State Supreme Court found in REAOC's favor. The court concluded its 26-page ruling, with this statement:

In response to the Ninth Circuit‘s inquiry, we conclude that, under California aw, a vested right to health benefits for retired county employees can be implied under certain circumstances from a county ordinance or resolution. Whether those circumstances exist in this case is beyond the scope of the question posed to us by the Ninth Circuit.
In reading through the findings, although AMCRE's case is not about splitting a pool (as we were not at any time pooled for health benefits with actives), the findings about implied contracts, even in the face of Government Code Section 31692, seem to me (who am not a lawyer) to potentially apply to Mendocino County's situation and likely to that of cases of other county retirement associations. We will now want to keep a closer eye on this case.

18 November 2011: 90-Day Notice that County will Terminate Pre-Medicare Retiree Health Benefits Program

Right after I got notice of the below-mentioned meeting, Sue Goodrick sent me a copy of this notice that will go to non-medidare-eligible retirees, a 90-day notice of termination of the program, together with mention of the meeting to explore alternatives.

17 November 2011: Special Meeeting Regarding Retiree Health Benefits

Sue Goodrick informed AMCRE:

Pursuant to Board direction Tuesday, Human Resources has scheduled a meeting for Tuesday, November 22 from 2-5 p.m. in the County Administration Offices, Conference Room C. We will be discussing viable options for non-Medicare eligible retiree health care as well as getting information/clarification on retiree questions regarding OBEP liability, blending with active employees, etc.

All are welcome - so please pass the word.

In preparation for this meeting, I'd like to request each of you provide me with a specific list of questions that you wish to have researched. I'm hoping that by having this list in advance, we might be able to research and provide responses, as appropriate, at this meeting.

Sue A. Goodrick, Human Resources Manager,
Benefits Administration, County of Mendocino
(707) 463-5683

25 October 2011: Letter to Ukiah Daily Journal Regarding High Cost of Health Benefits for Pre-Medicare RetireesA

This Letter to the Ukiah Daily Journal from Donna Salonen, wife of retiree Keith Salonen, does a good job of putting into perspective the impact to real retirees of the drastic cut of funding from MCERA to the retiree health benefits program. Donna makes a practical suggestion for making this action potentially less devastating. I am posting Donna's letter here with permission.

28 September 2011: Board Takes Drastic Action on Retirees Health Benefits Due to Loss of Funding from MCERA

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, at its regular meeting of Tuesday 27 September 2011, took the action we would have expected after MCERA's decision to withhold the remaining funds in the retiree health care benefits reserve (nearly $660,000). See the earlier entry (below) for a link to last week's letter foretelling this action.

Here are links for documents regarding the BOS's action yesterday:

12 September 2011: Letter to Retirees Regarding Potential Loss of Health Benefits Funding from MCERA

This bombshell Letter from Mendocino County Human Resources to retirees tells of a of a drastic cut of funding from MCERA to the retiree health benefits program. If you haven't received this letter, pleasa read it here and consider attending the BOS meeting of September 27, 2011, at which discussion of this matter is to be a timed item at 2:00 p.m.

13 July 2011: Wellness Incentive Program for Non-Medicare-Eligible Retirees

The July-August 2011 issue of The Connection contains a full-page announcement of this new plan option.

27 June 2011: UPDATE ON EARLY RETIREE REINSURANCE PROGRAM (ERRP)

A retiree sent a message to the webmaster asking about the $330,000+ Federal funds that the County was to receive, to help with the cost of early retiree health coverage. A query to Sue Goodrick (Human Resources Manager, Benefits Administration, for the County of Mendocino) yielded a prompt reply, stating that the County did receive $334,168.25 in Early Retirement Reinsurance Program reimbursements. She stated that the funds received were for the period June 2010 - Dec 2010. She said that her office is "geared up to request additional funds for the first & second quarters of 2011. However, those requests have been delayed due to new federal regulations requiring more detailed claims data. Both Delta Health Systems and Medco are working on developing programs to collect the data required."

Sue went on to say:

The ERRP money collected has been placed in a separate account for the specific purpose of extending the funding life of the non-medicare eligible retiree health plan. The Board confirmed this action on May 23, 2011. Notification of receipt of funds and the intended use was in the March - April 2011 AMCRE newsletter. Notification of receipt of funding was also sent to non-Medicare eligible retirees participating in the Retiree Health Plan on March 24, 2011.
It was initially estimated that funds within the Non-Medicare Eligible Retiree Health Plan would be depleted by October 2011. The receipt of the ERRP funds thus far has extended that projection to May 2013. We continue to be hopeful that further reimbursements will allow us to meet our goal of extending the retiree health plan life to 2014. However, as always, that is dependent upon the availability of the federal funding (as of March 31, 2011, $2.6 billion was left of the initial $5 billion slated for this program).
As your webmaster reads this, the ERRP funds will be used to help pay claims and thus extend the life of the early retiree insurance program, rather than to lower the cost of premiums to the early retirees.

25 March 2011: RETIREE HEALTH UPDATE NEWSLETTER - March-April 2011

The following was included in the March-April 2011 issue of The Connection. However, after an e-mail request for this information from a retiree, I decided to also post it here (10 May 2011).

Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (ERRP)

Good News! The County was notified that it would be receiving reimbursement for qualifying ERRP claims cost within the next few weeks in the amount of $334,168. Human Resources sent notification of this funding receipt to the non-Medicare eligible retirees participating in the Retiree Health Plan on March 24, 2011.

Wellness Program - Non-Medicare Eligible Retirees on Retiree Health Plan

As directed by the Board of Supervisors, the Human Resources Department, with the assistance of a Wellness Advisory Committee, is presently evaluating its options for incentive-based plan design changes which could potentially reduce member co-insurance, deductibles and/or pharmacy co-pays if certain health related criteria are met (i.e. such as completion of a health risk assessment, annual wellness physical and biometric evaluation). Sue Thornhill is representing the non-Medicare Eligible Retirees on this committee. Human Resources anticipates making a recommendation based on the Committee’s evaluation and findings to the Board of Supervisors within the next few months.

April 26, 2011 - Board of Supervisors Update on Status of Retiree Health Fund

Human Resources and the County Administrative Office will be providing the Board of Supervisors with an update of the status of the Retiree Health Fund on April 26, 2011. The update will include the results of a number of surveys conducted in an effort to increase the pool size of the Non-Medicare Eligible Retiree Health Plan as well as the County’s Health Plan Consulting Firm, Mercer, estimation that the retiree health fund will be exhausted by approximately July 1, 2012 (assuming current cost trends).

Information Provided By: Teresia Haase, Human Resources Director

26 October 2010: MORE ABOUT CALSTAR AND REACH MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL (FOR YEAR 2011) FOR RETIREES

This memo from Sue Goodrick gives the latest of current and future procedures for renewing CALSTAR and REACH memberships for AMCRE members who are Medicare eligible and live in California:

Membership with CALSTAR and REACH Air Ambulance Services as a self-paid benefit is available to all current Mendocino County Retirees who reside in California. You must re-enroll yearly in order to qualify for the service. This service does not automatically renew. The rates will remain the same as last year at $20.00 for each air ambulance service. In order to utilize the service you must be enrolled in both CALSTAR and REACH and submit your payment of $40.00 by check to Mendocino County no later than December 8, 2010.

Please complete your enclosed forms and remit with your check made payable to Mendocino County to:

Mendocino County Human Resources
579 Low Gap Rd.
Ukiah, CA 95482
Attention: Retirement Health Benefits
Beginning with membership renewals for the 2012 year, you will receive renewal notification directly from CALSTAR and REACH. Both Air Ambulance companies will provide you with the information needed for future renewals. Although the County will no longer directly provide the coordination of this benefit, you will continue to receive the group membership discounted rate.

If you have questions or need assistance with filling out the forms please contact Maureen Lawrence at lawrencem@co.mendocino.ca.us or call (707) 463-6553.

The Calstar form (.pdf) is here to download.
The Reach form (.pdf) is here to download.
19 October 2010: CALSTAR AND REACH MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL

Membership with CALSTAR and REACH Air Ambulance Services as a self paid benefit is available to all current Mendocino County Retirees who reside in California. Unlike the health plan, a member must re-enroll yearly for the air ambulance services. They do not automatically renew. The rates will remain the same at $20.00 for each air ambulance service. Enrollment forms will be enclosed with a reminder letter from Human Resources (this year, for the last time). Please note, there are two forms included and each must be completed. Note also that--in order to get reduced rate of $20.00 for each air service--you must enroll in BOTH for a total cost to the retiree of $40.00. This is service/membership is only available to retirees who reside in California.

11 October 2010: GOV. SCHWARZENEGGER APPLAUDS SENATE FOR PASSING LEGISLATION TO HELP COVER UNINSURED CALIFORNIANS

I just heard about this today (from Carol Mordhorst, AMCRE's insurance chair), even though it appears to have passed back in June of this year. Carol thought that this enabling legislation may help some AMCRE members and I certainly hope that it will. I gleaned this version from a press release on the Governor's Office's website.

Gov. Schwarzenegger issued the following statement in June, after the Senate passed SB 227 by Senator Elaine Alquist (D-San Jose) and AB 1887 by Assemblymember Mike Villines (R-Clovis) to expand affordable health coverage to uninsured Californians with pre-existing medical conditions by creating the Federal Temporary High Risk Health Insurance Fund to receive $761 million in federal funding:

I applaud the Senate's bipartisan support to give thousands of medically-uninsured Californians the opportunity to purchase insurance. This is a win-win opportunity for our state to maximize federally allocated money to quickly address the needs of our state's uninsured, while bringing jobs to our state by directing as much work as possible to California. I look forward to signing this bill.
This legislation will allow California to operate a new federally funded high-risk insurance pool under contract with the federal government. California is expected to receive $761 million to operate this pool until January 1, 2014, when coverage will be issued to every individual, regardless of his or her medical history.

In more recent health care news, the Governor also signed a bill making California the first state to set up a health insurance exchange under the Federal "Obamacare" legislation. You can read about that here.

17 September 2010: MENDOCINO COUNTY HUMAN RESOURCES REPORTS A PROJECTED INCREASE IN PREMIUMS FOR NON-MEDICARE RETIREES FOR 2011 AND PROPOSES INCREASING COUNTY STIPEND TO COVER THE INCREASE

Premiums for the Non-Medicare Eligible Retiree Health Plan may be increased to $818.78 for the 2011 calendar year, an increase of approximately $87.58 per retiree/dependent per month. This cost increase includes the assumption that the County will receive the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program funding from the Feds.

Evaluation of adding post 1998 retirees to the non-Medicare eligible retiree health plan is presently underway.

HR is recommending that the County contribution of $200.00 per month for Non-Medicare eligible retirees be increased to $288.00 per month to cover the increase in Non-Medicare eligible retiree premiums. As per prior Board directive, Non-Medicare eligible dependent premium cost will be paid 100% by the retiree's dependent or $818.78. The impact of this recommendation to the Retiree Health Plan Insurance Reserve (i.e. remaining life of funds) is presently being evaluated.

The Board of Supervisors will discuss the 2011 Non-Medicare Eligible Retiree Health Plan Renewal Report at its meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at approximately 9:30 a.m. The Renewal Report will be made available upon request on September 24, 2010 and will be posted on the HR website.

3 September 2010: MENDOCINO COUNTY HUMAN RESOURCES REPORTS THAT ITS APPLICATION FOR EARLY RETIREE REINSURANCE FUNDS FROM THE OBAMACARE PROGRAM HAS BEEN ACCEPTED

Here is the memorandum from HR, announcing the approved application.

16 July 2010: IMPORTANT QUESTION RAISED BY APPEALS COURT IN ORANGE COUNTY'S LAWSUIT REGARDING HEALTH BENEFITS

From CRCEA's Legislative Report that I just received today:

Following a June 10, 2010 hearing in Pasadena, the Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has certified REAOC's medical lawsuit against the County of Orange to the California State Supreme Court. The three-judge panel presiding over the hearing did not agree with the federal trial court ruling that California law clearly forbids implied terms in public employment contracts. Because the case presents an important question of state law, the panel asked the State Supreme Court for guidance on the issue. The question as posed by the appellate court is whether, as a manner of California law, a California county and its employees can form an implied contract that confers vested rights to the health benefits of retired County employees. (emphasis added)

This will be a case to follow more closely as it appears that this question could have an impact on AMCRE's standing vis a vis Mendocino County regarding our own health benefits.
9 July 2010: STAFF REPORT TO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS REGARDING RETIREE HEALTH PLAN TRANSITION

Here is the staff report that Human Resources will submit to the Board of Supervisors for its 13 July 2010 meeting. This report gives an update on numbers of retirees, both Medicare and pre-Medicare, who have and have not enrolled in the new programs. It also provides a little information on some related matters.

1 July 2010: MENDOCINO COUNTY'S TIMELY APPLICATION UNDER THE HEALTHCARE REFORM LEGISLATION

From Sue Goodrick, MCHR's Benefits Admin. Manager:

The County has completed and submitted our application for Early Retiree Reinsurance Reimbursement funding from the Federal Government under the Healthcare Reform Legislation.

The County has completed and submitted our application for Early Retiree Reinsurance Reimbursement funding from the Federal Govt under the Healthcare Reform Legislation.

I will be providing the BOS an update on the Retiree Health Plan transition on July 13.
10 June 2010: STAFF REPORT TO BOS FOR 15 JUNE 2010 MEETING ON RETIREE HEALTH PLAN TRANSITION

On June 15th, the Human Resources Department will be giving an update to the Board of Supervisors on the progress of the transition. We haven't heard yet what time this will occur. You can read this staff report here.

Carol Mordhorst sent a copy of that staff report and this reminder to those AMCRE members for whom we have e-mail addresses (do we have yours?):

Reminder, deadlines are fast approaching on making decisions on the Medicare plans of your choice or the non-Medicare retirees decision on whether to remain with the county plan. By my calculations, there are nearly 250 Medicare Retirees who have not yet enrolled and nearly 225 non-Medicare retirees that have not re-enrolled or discontinued their care.

I also wanted to remind the Medicare retirees that you need to enroll in a Medicare plan through Extend Health in order to get you $100.00 county contribution. While many other companies can offer you the same products, the will not have health reimbursement accounts for your county contribution.

Hope all is going well for you with this transition. Please let me know if you have any questions.

5 June 2010: WORKING DISABLED PROGRAM

A fellow retiree, in this case, one on disability retirement, pointed me to some information about working disabled that may be helpful to some retirees. Part of the message I received read:

Great savings for the disabled. Hardly anyone knows about the program. It's been around since 2002. Low enrollment. I would have applied years ago and saved thousand of dollars on all my meds cost.
If you are working and disabled, you might find to your surprise that you'll qualify for Medical under this program. A quote from its website:
Medi-Cal's 250% California Working Disabled program lets many people who are working with a disability pay for Medi-Cal coverage with a reasonable monthly premium. You don't have to be using SSI, SSDI or any other benefit program to qualify.
If that sounds like something that might be helpful, check it our at this link.

31 May 2010: NO WELLNESS ASSESSMENTS--FOR NOW (I just stumbled upon this posting on the HR website; it may have been there for a while and be old news to many of you.)

It is with regret that the Human Resources Department announced the resignation of Jean Maier, the County's Wellness Nurse, effective Friday, March 26, 2010. Ms. Maier's primary responsibility has been to conduct County-wide health assessments for employees and their insured, qualifying dependents and follow up with those individuals determined to be at high risk.

Human Resources has decided to not fill the vacancy of the Wellness Nurse position at this time, until the County has had an opportunity to evaluate all options with respect to the Wellness program and get through the upcoming budget process. As such, we will not be offering Health Assessments this year.

Although, Human Resources will be evaluating its options related to the Wellness Program over the next few months and through the budget process, we anticipate continuing and promoting other classes and activities in an effort to encourage our employees to maintain healthy life styles and stress reduction.

If you have any questions, please contact MCWOW at 463-4040.

19 May 2010: OOPS!

** High Priority **

It is with MUCH REGRET that I have to admit I made a mistake in the premium amounts for non-Medicare Eligible Retirees that was sent out on May 10, 2010. The notification that went out did not include the Board authorized $28.66 per month surcharge for the stabilization fund.

Please be advised that the attached mailing is going out today and will be posted on our [HR's] website as well.

You can contact me if you have any questions. I'm very sorry for this oversight.

Sue A. Goodrick, Human Resources Manager, Benefits Administration (707) 463-5683

18 May 2010: QUESTIONS ABOUT RETIREE HEALTH BENEFITS CHANGES IN THE WORKS

Sue Goodrick of Mendocino County Human Resources sent me a message on 5 May asking that I post some documents to this website for you. I'm still playing catch-up so just now posting. Instead of putting another copy of these docs here, I'm going to give you the link to the retiree health benefits information page on the HR website, which has these and many nore and will keep you more up to date.

The above-linked page gives you all the low-down on the non-medicare plan changes, the two general informational meetings (in Ukiah and Fort Bragg) with Extend Health, the one-on-one meetings available with EH, and much more. Take a look!

7 May 2010: FIT "FORE" LIFE

Didn't follow through with your plans to get fit and eat healthy this year? Join the Pro-Tour and get Fit "FORE" Life! SIMPLY CALL MCWOW AT 463-4040 TO REGISTER!

For more information, see the announcement on the HR website's "Moving into Spring" page. (Posted 11 May 2010)

21 April 2010: CMSP INFORMATION

Sue Goodrick obtained the following documents from HHSA (County Health and Human Services, in response to a request from Carol Mordhorst, because a retiree raised a question at one of the meetings about this. I received this information from Carol the date noted above but have been too busy with other stuff to update the website for a while (Posted 11 May 2010). Carol stated:

CMSP - County Medical Services Program. This is for Mendocino Residents but each county in California has a similar program. It would be for low income persons seeking alternatives - this is like Medi-Cal for people over 21 and under 64. It was mentioned at the meeting with the retirees and people wanted more information about it.
20 April 2010: BOARD OF SUPERVISORS' ACTION REGARDING RETIREE HEALTH INSURANCE COMMITTEE AND CEO RECOMMENDATIONS

AMCRE representative to the Retiree Health Benefits Committee reports the recommendtations from the committee the CEO supported to the Board of Supervisors and the action taken by the Board.

9 April 2010: UPDATE REGARDING RETIREE HEALTH INSURANCE COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

AMCRE representative to the Retiree Health Benefits Committee reports the latest developments.

1 April 2010: IMPORTANT DATES REGARDING RETIREE HEALTH INSURANCE

Note! Some times and dates may change so check back...

  1. Board of Supervisors action regarding recommendations for Medicare retirees - April 6, 2010 - 1:30 in the Board of Supervisors Chambers 501 Low Gap, Ukiah
  2. Retiree Health Benefits Committee - April 8, 1 pm at Human Resource Conference Room, 579 Low Gap Road, Ukiah. This is not a public meeting but guests are welcome to attend and listen but not speak.
  3. County Human Resources sponsored Informational Meeting for all retirees - April 12, 9:00 am to 11:00 am in Board of Supervisors Chambers, 501 Low Gap Road, Ukiah
  4. Board of Supervisory action regarding recommendations for non Medicare retirees - April 20, Board of Supervisors Chambers, time to be determined
  5. Board of Retirement action on excess earning policy - tentatively scheduled for May 19, 8:30 am, 625B Kings Court, Ukiah, CA 95482

INFORMATION REGARDING RETIREE HEALTH INSURANCE CHANGES TO BE PRESENTED TO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

6 April 2010, at the Board of Supervisors chambers, Administration Center, 501 Low Gap Rd, Ukiah CA: We had understood that this matter would be presented to the Board at its 20 April meeting but the CEO has had a change of plans and moved at least part of the matter up to 6 April 2010.

Current and Future Retirees eligible for the retiree health insurance, especially those on or about to be on Medicare, are urged to attend this meeting of the Board of Supervisors regarding Mendocino County Retirees Health Benefits. More infromation is available in a more detailed announcement that Carol Mordhorst sent out via e-mail to those for whom we have e-mail addresses.

To better understand what's going on, I urge you to read the reports on retiree health benefits matters in the March-April 2010 issue of The Connection, just mailed out to all AMCRE members. It's also available here on AMCRE.org under the Newsletters link on the Home Page.

RETIREE HEALTH INSURANCE DISCUSSION
AMCRE SPECIAL MEETING

24 March 2010, at 12:00 Noon--Ukiah Veteran's Hall, 293 Seminary Ave, Ukiah CA:
You are invited to attend a follow-up meeting regarding Mendocino County Retirees Health Insurance sponsored by AMCRE. This meeting will include a review of the Retiree Health Benefits Committee's recommendations for our health insurance as well as an update on the recent Retirement Board actions.

Current and Future Retirees eligible for the retiree health insurance are urged to attend.

Bring a brown bag lunch if you desire.

UPDATE ON RECENT ACTIONS BY RETIREE HEALTH BENEFITS COMMITTEE

8 March 2010: Carol Mordhorst, our dedicated new AMCRE insurance chair, put together this update of actions and recommendations by the CEO's Retiree Health Benefits Committee. Please read--it's important to you!

EXCESS EARNINGS POLICY, A STATEMENT BY JIM ANDERSEN, RETIREMENT ADMINISTRATOR

1 March 2010: Jim Anderson gave me this statement for inclusion in the next issue of The Connection. I'm posting it here, as well, so that it will be available much sooner.

While reading this statement may motivate you to attend the 17 March 2010 meeting of the Retirement Board, bear in mind that space in the MCERA conference room is very limited. I urge you to express your concerns to retiree rep on the MCERA board Dennis Huey or to AMCRE insurance committee appointee Carol Mordhorst. They will certainly be doing all they can to express the concerns of fellow retirees.

RETIREE HEALTH BENEFITS COMMITTEE (RHBC) MEETING 25 FEBRUARY 2010

At this second meeting of the re-activated Retiree Health Benefits Committee (RHBC), decisive measures were taken to move the process along, for better or for worse. You can read my notes and comments on the meeting here.

SPECIAL URGENCY MEETING OF AMCRE, REGARDING RETIREE HEALTH CARE BENEFITS, 22 FEBRUARY 2010

Following the 11 Bebruary 2010 meeting of the RHBC (see below), committee members representing retirees (Dennis Huey and Carol Mordhorst) saw that the committee was poised to move very quickly--due to the realization that the Retiree Health Benefits Reserve's crisis was even more urgent than previously indicated--to make major changes in retiree health benefits. They realized that if retiree input was to have any part in the process, an urgency meeting of ACMRE was indicated. They, therefore, called a meeing (to include all retirees and pre-1998-hired active employees), on 22 February 2010. A last minute effort was made, mostly via e-mail, to reach as many retirees and affected actives as possible, in order to have good participation in a meeting that would be held prior to the next HRBC meeting (set for 25 February 2010). The special AMCRE mmeting as attended by nearly 100 retirees and actives. You can read my notes and comments on the special AMCRE meeting here.

EMERGENCY AMCRE MEETING REGARDING RETIREE HEALTH BENEFITS, 22 FEBRUARY 2010

1120 South Dora, Ukiah CA, Conference room 1, 12 noon

You are invited to attend an informational meeting regarding the Retiree Health Insurance sponsored by AMCRE. This meeting will include a review of the discussions regarding the future options of our health insurance

Current and Future Retirees eligible for the retiree health insurance are urged to attend


Bring a brown bag lunch if you desire

RETIREE HEALTH BENEFITS COMMITTEE (RHBC) MEETING 11 FEBRUARY 2010

In September 2009, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisores (MCBOS) directed staff to study options for moving Medicare eligible retirees to a fully-insured (commercial) plan and to find ways to reduce costs of the retiree health benefits plan as a whole, to extend the life of the Health Care Rserve, which appeared doomed to run out completely, some time in early 2011. In January 2010, the MCBOS directed the County Executive Officer (CEO) to re-activate the Retiree Health Benefits Committee (RHBC) to study these possibilities and to make recommendations to the BOS. The first meeting of the RHBC upon its re-activation (after a long period of not meeting at all), was held 11 February 2010. You can read my notes and comments on the meeting here.

If you have a newsworthy item of interest or concern to AMCRE members, regarding health benefits or any other topics, please contact: