Chair Talk

March 2020

I was recently informed by Employee Benefits that Benefits For Life — Retiree Open enrollment will be held May 25 – June 19 this year. Both the Supplemental Term Life Insurance and Legal Plan enrollments will be available to retirees. You can find more information about the plans on the Civil Service website.

SERA has been working with the Office of the State Employer to get information out to retirees about the 2020 census. Itís important that retirees are aware of the importance of the census:

The census determines critical federal funding and congressional representation and districts for Michigan.

  • 67% of the population say they will respond in 2020 (down 18% from 2010)
  • In 2015, Michigan lost $954 for each person who wasnít counted in the 2010 Census.
  • Approximately $30 billion in federal funding and one congressional seat are at stake for Michigan.
  • Federal funding determined through the census goes into programs people use daily:
    • Health care
      • Medicaid: $13 billion
      • Medicare Part B: $2 billion
      • Temporary assistance to needy families: $775 million
      • State Childrenís Health Insurance Provider: $590 million
      • Head Start: $320 million
      • Health center services: $119 million
    • Food and housing assistance
      • Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers: $360 million
      • Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program: $330 million
      • SNAP: $2 billion
      • WIC: $195 million
    • Education
      • K-12 education
      • National School Lunch Program: $300 million
      • School Breakfast Program: $110 million
      • Title 1 Grants to LEAS: $510 million
      • Special education grants: $410 million
    • Higher education
      • Pell Grants: $780 million
      • Federal Direct Student Loans: $3 billion
    • Highways, roads and bridges
      • Highway planning and construction: $1 billion

2020census.gov

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.