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  • September 25, 2018 3:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Go here to tell your members of Congress to reject PHARMA’s push to change the donut hole deal. https://www.nrln.org/SE.html#/77

    In President Trump’s and Congress’ Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 deal in February there was a provision to further reduce the Medicare Part D “donut hole” in 2019, a year earlier than previously scheduled. Beginning next year, Part D enrollees will pay 25% of the cost of all their prescription drugs from the time they enter the donut hole until they reach catastrophic coverage. As part of the budget agreement, drug corporations are responsible for giving a 70% discount on drugs in the donut hole starting next year. However, PhRMA is lobbying to use the opioid bill to only pay 63% of costs in the Part D donut hole instead of the 70% they agreed to and was passed by Congress. This would result in a $4 billion windfall profit for the drug industry at the expense of patients. Pharmaceutical companies in the S&P 1500 earn an average net profit margin of 16%, compared with an average of about 7% for all companies in the index, according to S&P Capital IQ.

    Please send the NRLN’s sample letter, with your personal comments added, to tell your U.S. Representative and Senators to keep their promise to further reduce the donut hole in 2019.


  • August 07, 2018 10:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/at-t-overpaid-some-pensioners-now-it-wants-the-money-back-1533306044?emailToken=abca7d2e16b221e041013c9daf08b750+RfwNTIUzN7977L7Oxgqe3hhn5/TRvgbdIaN5oax38GIWjFv/PYV/0+9M1MQU6HdsPvg4HDifWa3WvvyqhDQ7qcCSKLILx+EBPkukVzkiQCcwWfcMmXl4L7gZEpWVhL2&reflink=article_email_share

    When James Mizelle retired in 2001, he started drawing a pension from his 27-year career with AT&T and other phone companies. Fifteen years later, he got a letter saying his benefits were miscalculated and demanding he repay $32,116.05. Mr. Mizelle, living in Round Hill, Va., replied that he couldn’t repay. Within weeks, he heard from a collection agency. “That money had been spent,” says Mr. Mizelle, 70, who had incurred medical bills in a battle with prostate cancer. “I could not pay it back.”


  • June 25, 2018 4:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A bill that the NRLN has supported, S. 974, Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act, was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 16 to 5 vote on June 14. The bill had been in the Judiciary Committee since it was introduced by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy on April 27, 2017.


    We need to urge our Senators to support bringing the bill to the Senate floor for a vote very soon, then they should vote for the bill and send it to the House where there is a companion bill.

    The CREATES Act targets abusive delay tactics that are being used by brand-name pharmaceutical companies to block market entry of more affordable generic drugs.

    Click here to access the NRLN’s sample letter urging U.S. Senators to pass the CREATES Act.

  • April 01, 2018 11:19 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Letter From VP Benefits Marty Webb Regarding Health Resources Account – HRA Continuing Through 2023

    The experience within the Aon Exchange plans has been positive and we are able to keep your HRA crediting amounts through 2023. Beyond that, future changes in HRA crediting amounts, if any, will be based on several factors. These factors may include business conditions, government actions, marketplace changes and the general consumer inflation rate.

    Your 2019-2023 Exchange enrollment options under the AT&T Medicare-Eligible HRA Program

    The HRA credit available depends on the type of qualifying coverage purchased through the Exchange.

    Here’s how it breaks down:

    If Medical and/or Prescription Drug Coverage are purchased through the Exchange*

    • Eligible Retiree - $2,700
    • Eligible Dependent of Retiree - $1,500

    If only Dental and/or Vision Coverage are purchased through the Exchange*

    • Eligible Retiree - $300
    • Eligible Dependent of Retiree - $200

    *For 2019-2023, the maximum HRA crediting amount for an eligible retiree is $2,700. The maximum HRA crediting amount for an eligible dependent is $1,500.


  • January 24, 2018 4:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    If you consented to receive your 2017 W2 and 1095-C electronically, W2's and 1095-C's will be posted on 1/22/18. These forms are posted at the AT&T Retiree Website at https://www.e-access.att.com/attretiree/homepage. After logon, under Benefits, click View More. Then under Tax Forms, click U.S. 1095-C/W2. If you have not consented to electronic forms, the forms will be available as a reissue on 2/5/18.


  • January 04, 2018 11:29 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    AT&T said Wednesday that it plans to invest an additional $1 billion into its U.S. networks in 2018 and give hundreds of thousands of employees a one-time bonus following the passage of the Republican-led tax bill in Congress.

    The additional funding is expected to support AT&T's expanding high-speed Internet networks, as well as the next generation of wireless data, known as 5G, the telecom company said.

    “Congress, working closely with the President, took a monumental step to bring taxes paid by U.S. businesses in line with the rest of the industrialized world,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T's chief executive, in a statement.

    The bonuses are not a part of a union contract agreement announced last week, said a spokeswoman for the Communications Workers of America. But, the group said, they are a result of conversations between CWA President Christopher Shelton and AT&T's Stephenson.

    "By pushing employers for this raise, CWA proves that working people have power when we join together to negotiate for a fair return for the work we do," the union said in a statement. "Unions remain the most effective means for working people to stand together and achieve wage growth and keep good jobs in the U.S."


  • October 15, 2017 8:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Enrollment dates* for those on AT&T Healthcare Plans are:

    Oct 2 - Oct 13 Former management retirees

    Oct 9 - Oct 20 Former bargained for Legacy Bell South,

    Legacy Midwest (Ameritech), Legacy T and Mobility

    Oct 10 - Oct 27 Former bargained for Southwest (SWBT),

    West (PacBell), East (SNET), and Direct TV

    * The deadlines for enrollment have been extended for those affected by hurricanes and earthquakes

    Medicare Open Enrollment For AT&T Medicare Retirees With The Aon Retiree Health Exchange

    Oct 15 - Dec 7


  • June 27, 2017 10:18 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It has come to our attention that the Aon Exchange YSA Group – the group that reimburses our Healthcare Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs) has moved. For those of you who mail your receipts for reimbursement, please note the new address below.

                                                                          

    IMPORTANT NOTICE

    The address to mail requests for reimbursement from Aon has changed.

    The new address is:

                      Your Spending Account Service Center

                        P.O. Box 64030

                       The Woodlands, Texas 77387-4030


    As always, AASBCR® keeps its member retirees informed.


  • June 13, 2017 2:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    READ THE STORY OF BILL WHO WAS CHARGED $12,000.00 FOR REHAB

    “I need your assistance in resolving a problem I am having with UHC AT&T Medicare Advantage Plan.

    On 2/19/2017 I was taken via ambulance to a Medical Center in CO. with an Atrial Fibulation attack while unconscious. I was treated for approximately ,2 weeks then being released for further care and rehabilition to a Skilled Nursing and rehab. Facility on 3/3/17.

    My grand daughter and my son contacted UHC to notify them of my transfer via medical transport to the rehab center and that it was a non network facility. The CSR at UHC said it was Ok , pay them out of pocket and then submit a claim for reimbursement. I was released on 3/27 . the claim form was completed by the rehab center business office manager and sent to UHC

    On 5/11/17 I received a letter stating that the claim request for reimbursement was denied because “Custodial Services or supplies are not covered please refer to evidence of coverage”.

    This involves over $12,000 which is a sizable amount for a person on a fixed income. Your assistance in the resolution of this problem would be greatly appreciated, Thanks, Bill”

    AASBCR® BENEFIT DIRECTOR GOT AT&T HR INVOLVED, THEN THE FIX FROM UNITED HEALTHCARE WAS PROVIDED

    We were able to engage a member out of Network Management team who had a conversation with the Business Office Manager at the rehab center on Friday 6/2/17 regarding Bill. The facility has agreed to refund Bill the amount he paid directly to the facility for services received in March 2017, and submit appropriate claims to UnitedHealth Care for processing. I will be outreaching to Bill shortly to provide the update.

    This can happen to ANY retiree. Have the support of a group that can get benefit issues resolved. Go to the website at http://aasbcr.org/ and click JOIN AASBCR. Dues are a low $25 per year. We are all volunteers, retirees just like you who want to be sure retirees are taken care of.

    PER THE RETIREE

    The rehab facility coded and filed the claim incorrectly. They are refiling the claim with Medicare correctly. The claim should then be paid.

    AASBCR® BENEFIT DIRECTORS WILL CLOSELY WATCH THIS UNTIL COMPLETED


  • May 23, 2017 2:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    U.S. senators raise alarms about shelving retirement advice rule

    By Lisa Lambert | Reuters WASHINGTON

    Three U.S. Democratic Senators on Friday raised concerns over the possibility that President Donald Trump's administration will permanently shelve the "fiduciary rule," aimed at preventing brokers from recommending inappropriate retirement investments.

    The most senior Democrat on the Senate committee overseeing pensions, Washington's Patty Murray, and two of the party's liberal stars who advocated for the rule, Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren, wrote to newly confirmed Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta about reports that he was looking for a way to freeze the rule and make it "stick."

    Earlier this month, the National Association of Plan Advisors cited Acosta as saying he was seeking the long-term freeze in a meeting with Republican Senator Tim Scott, of South Carolina. He added that he was in constant communication with the White House and "recognized the urgency of the situation," the group said in a blog post citing a "communication from Scott's office."

    Scott's spokeswoman Michele Exner told Reuters she did not know what the two discussed in their meeting, what Acosta had said, or anything about the communication cited.

    Labor Department Spokeswoman Jillian Rogers said she would ask Acosta, currently in Germany, about the conversation and if permanently paralyzing the rule was a department priority.

    Approved last year under former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, the rule was intended to ensure that financial advisers put their clients' interests first, and to protect consumers from buying unnecessary investment products that line brokers' pockets.

    Heavily criticized by Wall Street and Republicans for potentially raising the cost of investment advice, the rule has faced a rocky time becoming effective, with Trump last month delaying its enactment date, originally April 10, for 60 days. Trump has also ordered a review of the rule.

    "Instead of meeting with all stakeholders and considering multiple points of view, you appear to have prejudged the outcome of the review," the senators wrote in a copy of the letter seen by Reuters. They said an analysis accompanying the rule's release that found conflicts of interest would cost those saving for retirement $17 billion annually.

    They warned there are "steep legal standards" that the Labor Department would have to meet to "justify further delaying, substantially revising, or rescinding this rule."


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