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  • 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."


  • May 12, 2017 9:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill to repeal / replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  As changes are being made in the Senate, please tell your Senator that it is important to preserve in the ACA what has been good for Medicare beneficiaries.  This includes:

    • Medicare beneficiaries’ preventive screenings.
    • Closing the Medicare Part D "donut hole" which is the difference between what a beneficiary has to pay after reaching the initial coverage limit and the amount the government pays for "catastrophic" drug coverage.
    • Rewarding reimbursement to health plans, doctors and other medical care providers if they improve health outcomes and quality.

     

    A full repeal of the ACA would have the following impact on Medicare:

    • 14% Subsides Paid to Medicare Advantage Plans which will deplete the Medicare Trust Fund faster.
    • 0.9% Medicare Part A payroll tax on earnings over $200,000 would be lost, shortening the life of Medicare
    • Budget that supports HHS Innovation Center would be lost.
    • ACA slowed spending per Medicare beneficiary could be lost

     

    To find your US Senators phone numbers, email addresses and street addresses, go to https://www.senate.gov/ and select your state in the box on the upper left of the page.

  • May 08, 2017 9:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    These are extraordinary times and it is more important than ever that you take action.
     
    The U.S. House of Representatives continues to make changes to the bill to repeal / replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  As changes are being made in an effort to gain enough support for passage of the bill, it presents NRLN grassroots advocates another excellent opportunity to tell your U.S. Representative that it is important to preserve in the ACA what has been good for Medicare beneficiaries. This includes:

    • Medicare beneficiaries’ preventive screenings.
    • Closing the Medicare Part D "donut hole" which is the difference between what a beneficiary has to pay after reaching the initial coverage limit and the amount the government pays for "catastrophic" drug coverage.
    • Rewarding reimbursement to health plans, doctors and other medical care providers if they improve health outcomes and quality.
    Since the bill could be called up for a vote soon, I urge you to immediately send the NRLN’s sample letter to your members of Congress to urge them to preserve these benefits for Medicare.
     
    The letter is also intended to make your U.S. Representative aware that the full repeal of the ACA would have the following impact on Medicare:
    • 14% Subsides Paid to Medicare Advantage Plans which will deplete the Medicare Trust Fund faster.
    • 0.9% Medicare Part A payroll tax on earnings over $200,000 would be lost, shortening the life of Medicare
    • Budget that supports HHS Innovation Center would be lost.
    • ACA slowed spending per Medicare beneficiary could be lost
    In addition to emailing the NRLN’s sample letter, if you can please call your U.S. Representative’s office and ask him or her to preserve from the ACA what has been beneficial to Medicare participants.  You may obtain the phone numbers, fax numbers, and Facebook and Twitter links for your U.S. Representative by going to the NRLN website at: http://www.nrln.org/congresslegs.html#/legislators/. Just scroll down to the USA map to select your state and then the U.S. Representative you want to contact.
     
    Bill Kadereit, President                                               Bob Martina, Vice President - Grassroots
    National Retirees Legislative Network                        National Retiree Legislative Network
     
    Here are the easy steps to follow on this Action Alert:
    1. If clicking the link in the first sentence does not take you to the sample letter, go to http://nrln.org/congress.html#/55 to access the sample letter for you to email to your U.S. Representative. If you have a problem with the link, go to www.nrln.org and click on the “Take Action Now!” near the top of the NRLN website home page. When the Action Alert appears, click on the “Write your U.S. Representative” link.
    2. When you have accessed the sample letter, to the left of the letter are windows to type in your contact information required by members of Congress so they know they are receiving an email from a constituent. If you have sent previous NRLN emails to your members of Congress your contact information may be automatically displayed.
    3. Personalize the letters by editing in your own comments.
    4. Click on the "Preview" button and the letter addressed to your Representative will appear. His or her name will be automatically added in the letter's greeting. Check to make sure the letter to your U.S. Representative appears correct and then click "Send".
  • December 08, 2016 2:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For years, the NRLN has opposed the efforts of Rep. Paul Ryan (WI-01), now the Speaker of the House, to replace Medicare with a voucher plan (premium support) for seniors to use to purchase their health care coverage from private insurance companies.  If Rep. Tom Price (GA-06), President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, is confirmed by the Senate, Speaker Ryan will have a powerful partner. Representative Price has long supported privatizing Medicare with taxpayer dollars going to insurance companies who make big contributions to members of Congress. Rep. Kevin Brady (TX-08), Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, has pledged to support the proposed changes to Medicare.
     
    Speaker Ryan has received $845,239 in campaign and leadership PAC (Political Action Committee) contributions from the insurance industry during the 2015 and 2016 election cycle, according to OpenSecrets.Org, the Center for Responsive Politics. Rep, Price, currently Chairman of the House Budget Committee, has received $184,600, and Rep. Brady has received $397,500 in campaign and leadership PAC contributions from the insurance industry during the same period. Could their desire to privatize Medicare be overly influenced by the big contributions they receive from the insurance industry? 
     
    You are the NRLN.  If Medicare is important to you as part of the NRLN, then stand with the other members to tell Congress not to support turning Medicare over to insurance companies that will certainly lead to seniors paying more for health care. Please email the NRLN’s sample letter to your Representative and Senators to urge them to prevent the privatization of Medicare. 
     
    Bill Kadereit, President                            Bob Martina, Vice President –
                                                                    Grassroots
    National Retiree Legislative Network      National Retiree Legislative  Network

    Here are the easy steps to follow:

    1. If the “Click here” link in the first paragraph above doesn’t work for you, go to: http://nrln.org/congress.html#/48 to access the NRLN’s sample letters.. The NRLN Action Network system will identify for you the letter to be sent to your U.S. Representative and your two U.S. Senators. If you have a problem with this link, go to www.nrln.org and click on the “Take Action Now” near the top of the NRLN website home page.
    2. When you have accessed the NRLN sample letters, to the left of the letters are windows to type in your contact information required by members of Congress so they know they are receiving an email from a constituent. If you have sent previous NRLN emails to your members of Congress your contact information may be automatically displayed.
    3. Personalize the letters by editing in your own comments.
    4. Click on the "Preview" button and the letters addressed to your Representative and two Senators will appear. Their names will be automatically added in the letter’s greeting.  Check to make sure the letters to your members of Congress appear correct and then click "Send".
  • August 25, 2016 11:44 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     

    New AASBCR® Facebook Page

    Want the latest news from AASBCR® without going to the website?  Check out the new AASBCR® Facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/aasbcr.  Click on Like, then when AASBCR® sends out messages, those messages will show up in your News Feed on your Facebook page.

  • June 10, 2016 11:44 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Great News. AASBCR®, along with the NRLN, has worked with Congress and the United States Treasury to stop companies from forcing retirees currently receiving a monthly annuity pension to convert to a one time lump sum payment. Some companies have been merging a well-funded pension plan with one that is poorly funded, as a way to avoid funding the lower funded plan. Converting an existing annuity pension to a lump sum is a way for companies to remove pension obligations from their corporate accounting statements. This is known as de-risking since this reduces their financial risk over the years or even decades. This means the company has eliminated any risk involved with investing the pension funds by paying out a one time lump sum which is generally significantly smaller than paying the full term of the pension. Companies may no longer force a retiree to accept a lump sum in place of a monthly annuity.

  • May 12, 2016 9:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Retirees with HSA accounts with Fidelity. According to AT&T HR, Fidelity is NOT to charge administrative fees to retirees to manage their accounts. AASBCR® is receiving concerns from some retirees that Fidelity IS charging fees. AASBCR® members affected, please contact AASBCR® and it will be brought to AT&T HR to correct. However, according to AT&T HR, Fidelity can and does charge administrative fees for managing retiree IRA accounts.

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