Chair Talk

July 2013

The August 9th SERA CC meeting will be held at BJ’s Restaurant (990 N. Center Rd.) in Gaylord, MI. Please get your Chapter’s reservations in to Jackie Russell by August 1st. We will not have a formal program at this meeting but will offer vendors (BC/BS, Delta Dental, MedImpact, NoviXus etc.) some allotted time to give us updates and answer questions the group may have. I will also invite representatives from Employee Benefits (CSC) to attend. We will also have APSA representatives attend for an update on the SERA-PLUS program. Nominations for 2014 Officers and Executive Board members will also take place at this meeting.

Recently, State retirees that have Original Medicare received a letter including information that Medicare was starting a national mail-order program for diabetic testing supplies (meters, test strips and lancets). This program was scheduled to start on July 1, 2013. The letter indicated that when the program started you would need to use a Medicare national mail-order supplier for Medicare to pay for diabetic testing supplies that are delivered to your home. About this same time I was informed that Wright-Filipis would no longer be the BC/BS supplier for diabetic testing supplies and that U.S. Med would be the supplier. Prior to this notice I had mailed a refill order to Wright-Filipis for testing supplies then received a call from U.S. Med that they would be the supplier from now on. Several days later I received a package from U.S. Med that contained a new meter, test strips and lancets. When I called U.S. Med about the reason for the new meter I was told that they do not stock testing supplies for the meter I was currently using. I told them that I did not want the new meter and that I was sending it back. Then, to add to the confusion I received a packet from Medicare Generation Rx (2013 Formulary update) about benefit enhancements for the State of Michigan. The enhancements included diabetic needles/syringes and diabetic testing supplies (meters, test strips and lancets) most of the items with no co-pays. I had previously called Employee Benefits about the flurry of activity regarding the diabetic supplies and the confusion that many retirees may be experiencing. In reviewing all the various packets of information, I have decided to utilize the Medicare Generation Rx program as the supplier for my diabetic supplies. I would rather deal with a Michigan company (NoviXus) rather that a Florida company (U.S. Med).

I look forward to seeing many of you at the August meeting in Gaylord, MI. I hope you all have a pleasant summer.

Editor’s note: Bob Kopasz is Chair of the Michigan SERA Council. He may be reached at P.O. Box 692, Mt. Morris, MI 48458; phone 810/240-8380.