Medicare Part B Additional Reimbursement
NYC reimburses us Medicare Part B payments (if you notify the city) for the standard payment for both you and for your spouse if also on Medicare. Depending on your yearly income you may have had to pay additional premiums. You must file a claim with NYC for the additional reimbursement. Information and forms are on the Office of Labor Relation Health Benefits Programs web site.
The link is P2/10
Express Scripts Drug Plan
The UFOA has revised the Express Script Drug Plan for Medicare Members. Express Scripts now has a Medicare Part D plan. If you were in the UFOA drug plan last year and on Medicare you were automatically enrolled in the new plan. Unfortunately both the UFOA and Express Scripts could have provided a better explanation as what we had to do.
A major change is that both you and your wife have plan different ID numbers. You shAould have received new cards in the mail along with an explanation of the new plan. If you had an internet account and were ordering your renewals on line you will notice that your prescriptions are no longer listed under your old account number. You will have to reregister using the new account numbers. You will need a separate internet account for your wife. For your account all you will have to do is reregister. For our wife’s account as the credit card number was not transferred to her new account you will also have to contact Express Scripts by telephone and give them a credit card. Once you reregister all your prescription information will appear. If your spouse is not on Medicare check with Express Scripts as to procedures to be followed.
When ordering prescriptions at a local pharmacy you will have to reregister using the new ID numbers. You now can get some 90 day orders directly from your pharmacy and not have to use mail order. There will be a slight price difference which you can check.
I also checked with the UFOA and Express Scripts regarding the ability to get 90 day supply of certain prescriptions directly from a pharmacy (Costco – Shop-Rite, Walmart etc) at a lower price than the co-pay Express Scripts charges. They both have no problem with it and encourage you to get the best price you can. The only thing the UFOA said is not to give the pharmacy your Express Script card as they might send the charge into Express Scripts. Either go to a different pharmacy or check with your present pharmacy to make sure they will give it to you without using the plan. This can be a substantial savings. (P1/09)
HELPS is a new retiree health care benefit that provides a tax-free distribution of up to $3,000 from retirement plans to help retirees pay for health insurance or long-term care insurance.
The IAFF won an unprecedented congressional victory with the passage of the Health Care Enhancement for Local Public Safety Officers (HELPS) act. Under it, retirees can receive a tax-free distribution of up to $3,000 from retirement plans to help pay for health insurance or long-term care insurance premiums. The IAFF encourages affiliates to remind retirees about the HELPS benefit.
Under the benefit, the IRS will allow retired fire fighters to exclude from income distributions made from eligible retirement plans up to $3,000 annually to pay the costs for accident or health insurance or long-term care insurance. The funds can cover the retiree, spouse or dependents. The distribution must be made directly from the retirement plan to the insurance provider. Eligible retirement plans include qualified trusts, section 403(a) plans, section 403(b) annuities and section 457(b) plans.
This is from the IAFF web site. I am sure more detailed info will come. P2/08
It has come to our attention that some retirees do not understand the deductible clause of the Catastrophic Insurance we purchase through the unions. There is a $10,000 deductible that must be met before the Catastrophic Insurance will cover the cost. However the deductible is not out of pocket expenses. Any expenses occurred even if they are paid for by Medicare or your secondary insurance coverage count toward the deductible. The money does not have to come out of your pocket.
It does not take much to meet the deductible. A few days in the hospital, an MRI , Cat Scan, blood tests and doctor visits will quickly meet the deductible. After that everything you have to pay out of your pocket is covered. Keep in mind you can get a second opinion from a doctor or hospital covered by your plan.
Take some time to read about your insurance coverage before you need it. P1/08
Counseling and Support services
There are several organizations that will provide counseling and support to active and retired firefighters and their families. They offer a vast variety of services.
Friends of Firefighters – 199 Van Brunt St Brooklyn NY 11231 - 718-643-0980
Safe Horizion – 26 Broadway Suite 767, NY 10004 – 212-747-0733.
Crisis support line - 1- 800-621- HOPE or 212-577-7777 – Web Site -www.SafeHorizons.org.
If you, or anyone in your family are having reactions from a traumatic event such as 9/11 please contact them.
The UFA has posted a Retiree Checklist on its web site (www.ufalocal94.org). It has a lot of updated information on Security Benefit Fund benefits and carriers. It also has a list of procedures and notifications that must be made. (Similar to our “What to Do” section)
The Security Benefit section contains a list of forms that may be downloaded They include NYC, NYFD, and UFA forms. The NYC and FDNY forms are pertinent to members of both the UFA and UFOA. P11/06
Mike Donavan, is the Retiree Liaison for the UFOA Family Protection Plan. The FPP is co-directed by Kevin Sullivan and Rich Goldstein.
James Dahl is the Retiree Liaison for the UFA Security Benefit Fund.
FDNY VFW Post:
The FDNY now has its own VFW post. FDNY Veterans of Foreign Wars Post # 12033 was instituted on 8/12/2005, in memory of SSGT Christian P. Engeldrum of Ladder 61. He was the first NY Firefighter to die in the war in Iraq. 103 NY Firefighters have been activated since 9/11. Chris also fought in the first Iraq war.
In keeping in the spirit of our national organization, we have been steadfast supporters of the rehabilitation of disabled veterans from Walter Reed and Bethesda Hospitals, assisted the widows and orphans of disabled and needy veterans and promoted Americanism through education in patriotism and service to the community of New York City.
Inside the FDNY
“Inside the FDNY” is the Official Resource web site for FDNY personnel. It contains news articles, Department Orders, FDNY news, etc.
You can sign up for E-Mail notification of announcements. (Icon of top right)
The Official FDNY web site is www.nyc.gov/html/fdny/home2.shtm