Chair Talk

2017

August

Gary Supanich the attorney handling the Okrie case attended the CC meeting on Friday, August 4th. Gary gave a status report on...

July

On June 28, 2017, Attorney Gary P. Supanich filed a Petition for a writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court. The State’s response is due...

June

On Monday, May 15 I attended the Lapeer Chapter of MARSP (Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel) and gave them an update on the Okrie lawsuit...

May

During the month of April, many retirees received a letter from Optum Rx informing them that because of their prescription history Optum has determined...

April

The majority of calls and e-mails I have received over the past 3 months since our Prescription Drug Provider has changed from MedImpact to...

March

Bethany Beauchine (Employee Benefits Director) attended the SERA Coordinating Council on March 3, 2017. Bethany spoke to the group about...

February

Lauri Schmidt, Employee Benefits Director will be retiring effective March 1, 2017. Lauri has 38 years of service...

January

Employee Benefits had recently informed me that the letter from Optum Rx (dated November 30, 2016) about the Medicare retiree having...

2016

December

In November state retirees were mailed a Retiree Benefits Bulletin that explained the Prescription Drug Manager change for retirees enrolled...

November

In the October 2016 SERA-Nade, some incorrect information was given regarding the new prescription provider...

October

State retirees will see a 3% increase (capped at $25 per month $300 annual) on their October 25th pension payment...

August

I have made arrangements for a presentation about: In Home Care and Senior Residences ...

June

Don’t forget to attend the oral arguments on the Okrie vs State of Michigan scheduled for Tuesday, June 7th. We would like to fill the courtroom with SERA members...

May

I have been invited to speak at the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) at their Michigan Convention May...

April

I have received an Interagency Memorandum of Understanding for Retiree Health Benefits that has received Interim Approval and will have to be approved by...

March

On Thursday, February 11, 2016 I attended the first meeting of the new State of Michigan Retirement Board. The new Retirement Board was formed by Governor...

February

Cheryl Streberger and I had a meeting with Employee Benefits and Civil Service staff about retiree health care. There has not been a decision yet as to whether the additional health benefits that were bargained for active employees will be passed on to retirees...

2015

November

On October 27, 2015 Gov. Rick Snyder signed an Executive Order creating the State of Michigan Retirement Board....

October

The speaker/program for the November 6th Coordinating Council meeting will be Gary Supanich. Mr. Supanich is the attorney representing Tom Okrie in the pension case...

September

Retirees will begin receiving Benefits Bulletin from the Civil Service Commission for fiscal year 2015-2016. There are no changes in health benefits...

August

Retirees that are enrolled in the State Health Plan PPO will soon be receiving a mailing about an added discount program for hearing aids. This plan is in addition to...

June

The SERA/GBS agreement was signed on May 8th and has an effective date of May 15, 2015. On that same day, the agreement between GBS and the Hantz Group was also signed...

May

I recently received an e-mail from Gary Supanich (attorney representing Tom Okrie in Okrie v Michigan pension case) that he is working on an appeal...

March

We have been notified that the Coalition for a Secure Retirement-MI(CSR-MI) is having their 1st Annual CSR-MI Lobby Day at the Capitol...

February

January had quite a few frigid temperatures, February opened with a snow storm in the Midwest and North East snarling traffic and causing innumerable accidents. We are still...

January

I hope everyone had great holidays. I also hope that you are staying warm in these frigid winter temperatures...

2014

November

Currently prescription drug co-pays do not apply to the out-of-pocket max, however this rule will change in October 2015...

October

There seems to be some confusion as to when the dates of certain health benefit changes are effective. I talked to...

September

SERA Chapter Presidents will be receiving the SECC retiree brochures...

August

As of this date we have not been notified about the final decision on retiree healthcare co-pays, deductibles or coinsurance...

July

The current agreement extension with VBS regarding the SERA-PLUS program ends on August 14, 2014. I have received and distributed...

June

I was recently informed that effective June 1, 2014 the cost of a trust offered under the SERA-PLUS program will...

May

It appears that the winter of 2013/14 may be over at last. I am sure we all thought that spring would never arrive...

April

The following information was taken from the Medicare Generation Rx Formulary. There appears to be questions/confusion as to how a Formulary...

March

Cheryl Streberger and I met with Jan Winters (Director OSE), Lauri Schmidt and Danielle Leutz (CSC) on Wednesday, February 12, 2014. The discussion at this meeting involved the State’s cost of health care and drugs for retirees...

February

As you all know, on January 15, 2014 the Civil Service Commission voted 3-1 to adopt the Impasse Panel Recommendations and place all state employees in the New...

January

The SECC 2013 campaign is over and retirees donated $8,220.00 this year to their favorite charities. The donations made by state retirees...

2013

December

On Tuesday, December 3rd, Mary Pollock and I received copies of the Impasse Panel Recommendations that are a result of the bargaining impasse...

November

Senate Bill 652 would transfer the Court of Claims from the 30th Judicial Circuit (Ingham Count Circuit Court) to the state Court of Appeals...

October

On September 20, 2013, Mary Pollock, Dave Reusser and I met with Tim Easterwood to discuss a “new” consulting agreement that would take the place of the current Voluntary Benefits Solutions (VBS), America’s Professional Services Association...

September

On Wednesday, September 4th I was invited to speak at the DNR/DEQ Retirees Association. This organization has been in existence since 1962 and is made up of state retirees...

August

In early July, the JEC recommends that Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan be awarded the contract for the CSC Vision Benefit Plan...

July

The August 9th SERA CC meeting will be held at BJ’s Restaurant (990 N. Center Rd.) in Gaylord, MI...

June

I am devoting this month’s Chair Talk on the SERA-PLUS program that we are involved in. We are into our 16th month ...

May

Well, we are 4 months into the new prescription plan. Many of the problems that were experienced in the first couple of months have been resolved and the calls/e-mails have slowed...

March

The calls/e-mails I have been receiving about the new Prescription plan have slowed down quite drastically. The implementation process has not been too bad and is about what I had expected...

February

Due to weather conditions we had to cancel the February Coordinating Council meeting. We have rescheduled the meeting to Thursday, March 7, 2013. I have asked the same speakers...

January

There still seems to be a lot of confusion about the new prescription drug program. I (as well as other SERA officers/Chapter Presidents) have been getting many calls and e-mails with ...

For previous issues of Chair Talk, see the archive.