THE ASSOCIATION OF RETIRED CONSERVATIONISTS
The October 3, 2018 meeting was held at the New Glarus Hotel, New Glarus WI
ARC President Laurel Steffes called the meeting to order at 1 p.m.
Thirty-eight people attended. The cost of the meal was $16 and included plated weinerschnitzel and green beans, family-style rosti and spatzile, along a house salad, rolls, beverages and ice cream. The cost included tax, gratuity and a contribution to ARC’s treasury.
A moment of silence was observed for friends and family who have passed, as well as our troops who are serving in harm’s way.
The September minutes were read and approved. Treasurer Steve Holaday gave the treasurer’s report, which also was approved.
New Members and Guests:
DNR mailroom manager Terry Westby attended his first meeting, introduced by Lydia Gilson. Upon attending his second meeting, a motion will be made, and a vote taken to accept Terry as a member. At that time, he’ll pay his $5 lifetime dues.
David Villa is the new State of WI Investment Board (SWIB) director and is considered an excellent investor. Rochelle Klaskin is the deputy director.
The rate of return on core investments is about 3.4%, while variable is at 6.3% (at time of this report).
Those invested in the variable fund can leave it, if want. Consensus is that 10-year bear market will be OK, this year. 2019/20 probably won’t be. Converting to the core fund would raise your base, which
can’t be taken away.
Open enrollment for 2019 health insurance benefits runs from October 1-26 (application postmarked). Those retirees younger than 65 likely still on state’s health insurance. If using escrowed sick leave, still “stuck” with Employee Trust Fund.
If over 65, eligible to enroll in “It’s Your Choice Medicare Advantage,” administered by United Health Care. Provides a nationwide network of providers. Even if you’ve left the state’s group health insurance, now is the time of year that retirees can consider getting back into ETF plan.*
Those retirees younger than 65-67 and not yet on Medicare must enroll in or continue using an ETF health insurance plan to use their escrowed sick leave.
Delta Dental sending out information on 2019 benefits.
ARC checking account balance beginning Oct. 1 = $521.32
Withdrawal: $16 check #1208, a reimbursement to someone who paid for picnic but who could not attend.
Ending checking balance Oct. 31 = $561.82
Saving account balance Oct. 1 = $224.17, add $0.02 interest, ending balance Oct. 31 = $224.19
Law enforcement credentials have been reinstated for park rangers, effective January 2019. Now, wardens no longer required to provide law enforcement in parks. Unfortunately, both park rangers and warden force now short staff and equipment needed to perform their duties.
LAWCON expired just days before ARC September meeting.
Chuck Pils recently was injured in a bike/car accident. He is in rehab for a brain injury.
Deaths and Illnesses:
Two retirees and a current employee passed away recently:
* Ron Nicotera , Wildlife Management and Endangered Resources
* Clark Galecky
* Julie Peltier, Forestry Southeast District
Birthdays and Anniversaries:
To those attending who announced momentous birthdays and/or anniversaries, I apologize for neglecting to record them in my notes.
Bruce Chevis and his wife vacationed in Europe, visiting Rome, Venice and London. They traveled via train to Scotland and hiked central England.
Unfortunately, didn’t catch this, but it was met with a room full of laughter.
Meeting adjourned at 1:30
* We want to share the following succinct information on the ETF United Healthcare (UHC) Medicare
Advantage Plan provided by Ed Frank, after the ARC October meeting. UHC covers ETF Uniform Benefits, like all other ETF plans.
* The Medicare Part D payment is included in the cost for each plan, and Navitus is the prescription drug supplier for all ETF plans.
* The only UHC co-pay listed is $60 for emergency room services. (Doesn’t apply to urgent care visits).
* If you still have escrowed sick leave to use, you can only use it by selecting one of the ETF Healthcare Plans. The UHC Plan appears to be the least expensive ETF Plan.
* The one UHC area that still isn’t clear is the use of out-of-network providers. At this time, out-of-network is limited to providers who "will accept the UHC plan” and “will accept Medicare. UHC apparently can tell you which out-of-network providers will do so, if you call them at 1-844-876-6175. The ETF 2019 Plan Guide says that out-of-network providers will be covered 100%, but it’s IMPORTANT that you know that they will “accept the plan" AND are participating in Medicare.
* If you don't have escrowed sick leave to use, there are healthcare insurance options outside of ETF that look attractive, such as Dean Advantage Complete at $226/mo. for individuals.