Blog

USING THE ALL CLEAR FOUNDATION AS A RESOURCE

The All Clear Foundation searches hundreds of resources to find what’s most relevant to you as first responders and their families. Much of the information provided can help and assist retirees also. Below are two of videos found through All Clear that can be helpful to you.

The All Clear Foundation has access to classes, services, wellness advice, and more. You can learn more about the All Clear Foundation by visiting their website.

DEEP BREATHING EXERCISE VIDEO

The Iverson Foundation for Active Awareness (IAFF) in partnership with Resounding Joy brings you a deep breathing exercise video from their music resiliency program to help manage and relieve stress. You can access the video here.

BRINING THE DARKNESS INTO THE LIGHT VIDEO

The second is a video by Ashley Iverson – ‘Bringing the Darkness Into the Light’, sheds light on how ONE incident can change the life of a Firefighter or Police Officer as well as their families. You can watch that video here.

The one important item that I learned thru our many hours of training was that ‘the mental pictures never go away.’ Know that you can always change the words to the pictures. Also, know that there is help and assistance out there.

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Kaiser Senior Advantage Plan New Benefits

If you are a Kaiser Senior Advantage Plan member you should have received a letter in the mail outlining the two new benefits that you are entitled to beginning January 1, 2021.

First, Kaiser is offering free rides to the doctor’s office at no cost. To qualify, you must be a KPM member and be going to a medical service covered under the plan such as doctor’s appointments, labs, X-ray’s or picking up medications/medical equipment.  To schedule, you call 1-877-930-1477.  The plan covers 24 trips.

Second, you can now get fresh, healthy meals delivered to your home after an inpatient visit at a hospital or skilled nursing facility at no cost. This occurs by referral from your care team after discharge from a facility. The benefit covers 3 meals per day for up to 4 weeks for a total of 84 meals.

Click here to view a copy of the letter sent out to retirees.

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Open Enrollment Changes for Retirees

This year there are relatively modest rate changes and few adjustments to benefits as we enter Open Enrollment for retirees November 1st through 30th. The changes are as follows: 

• Kaiser non-Medicare rates for 2021 will increase 6.28 percent.

• Kaiser Medicare plan rates will decrease 9.1 percent. 

• Anthem non-Medicare plan rates will increase 8.0 percent, while its Medicare Advantage rate will decrease 5.6 percent. It will continue to be a no-cost plan for retirees. 

• Anthem Advantage PPO rate will decrease 6.1 percent. This plan will for the first time also be a no-cost plan for retirees. 

• There are no changes to the plans or the rates for vision insurance or dental insurance. 

• We have one significant benefit modification to report that is a response to the COVID pandemic. Kaiser Sr. Advantage California plan is replacing the Silver & Fit free gym membership with a Meals and Transportation Benefit instead. This applies only to Kaiser Senior Advantage members who are in California plans.

Get the full Retirement Services Newsletter here.

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Firefighter Liability Suit Regarding PFAS Materials

Previously, we informed you on the effort to potentially litigate on the issue of cancer-causing chemicals contained in manufactured products including firefighting foams and firefighter turnouts among others. A civil suit has now been filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court. You can view the lawsuit here. If you have been diagnosed with cancer and believe you have been exposed to these chemicals in your career, and are interested in potentially joining the suit, you can contact retired SJFD Battalion Chief Richard Seal, Esq., who is Of Counsel to Pritzker Levine, at 408-623-3519, or firm partner, Elizabeth Pritzker, at 415-805-8532.  

Click to view lawsuit
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ASSISTANCE TO TRANSITION TO MEDICARE PLANS

Some of you may have experienced a delay in receiving your Medicare cards and in the mail from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and Medicare. The delay is due to the impacts of COVID-19 on SSA/Medicare.  
This delay can cause problems for retirees seeking to transition to a Medicare health insurance supplement plan by Retirement Services. Historically, Retirement Services has required retirees to send in a copy of their Medicare card before they would transition/process the retiree into a Medicare health insurance supplement plan. The Medicare card contains your Medicare number, which is integral to the transition process.
Because of the COVID -19 delay, retirement services will now accept a retiree’s social security Benefits Verification Letter as opposed to the card. This letter contains the information (i.e., Medicare number) that retirement services needs to transition the retiree into a Medicare supplemental plan.
Process for attaining your SSA Benefits Verification Letter

  • Go to the Social Security website  https://www.ssa.gov/ set up an account (if you have not already done so) and log into your account.
  • On the right side of the page, click on Replacement Documents.
  • In the new window, in the Medicare Card box, in the last line, click “get a benefit verification letter.”
  • A new window will open that shows a benefit verification letter specific to you inclusive of your medicare number.
  • Provide a copy of this letter to your retirement services rep. They will use it to transition you into a medicare supplemental plan.
  • When you receive your official medicare card, forward a copy of it to your retirement services rep.
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ASSOCIATION MOVES TO VIRTUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS

The COVID-19 pandemic forced all of us to change the routines of our everyday life. Conducting the Association’s business is no different. Two months ago, we began to hold our board meetings via video conference on Zoom. 

Based on feedback we got from members who participated in our previous Zoom meetings, we are going to attempt to host all of our future Association member meetings via Zoom. This will allow members who live out of the area to participate on an ongoing basis. So, if you want to attend future Association meetings virtually, please email Dale Foster at secretary@retiredsjpoff.org and he will provide you with instructions on how you can join our meeting.  If you are signed up for our emails, we will send out an electronic invite closer to the date.  

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ASSOCIATION ENDORSES COUNCILMEBERS ARENAS & JIMENEZ FOR RE-ELECTION

Councilmember Sergio Jimenez in Council District 2.
Councilmember Sylvia Arenas in City Council District 8

As the March primary comes to a close for Presidential candidates, two of the City’s five city Council races will be settled on March 3. The Association has endorsed Councilmember Sylvia Arenas in City Council District 8 and Councilmember Sergio Jimenez in Council District 2.

Both candidates have demonstrated an understanding of and commitment to public safety and standing up for the interests of employees and retirees. The race in Council District 8 has become particularly heated with candidate Jim Zito coming under fire for what’s been labeled as “temperament issues” that have been brought to light by local news publications as well as the SJPOA. Because there are only two candidates, there will not be a runoff in either race. The Association has been working with other partners on this election, including the South Bay Labor Council to assist our endorsed candidates.

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