firstname.lastname@example.org tape: 212-673-1356
Above: October 2016 membership meeting at the new location of Local 1101 in Manhattan. Main topic: rollout of new Medicare Advantage plan for Verizon retirees.
1101 RMC Membership Meetings
Wed. November 16, Noon
Wed. December 14, Noon -
Holiday Party $25
Wed. January 18, 2017, Noon
All meetings are at the new Manhattan location for Local 1101 at 350 West 31st Street, between 8th and 9th Ave, half block west of Penn Station and the Mad Sq Garden
Medicare Advantage Informational Meetings
Updated: October 18, 2016
United Health Care had a delay in getting retiree meeting invitations to retirees, which impacted meetings scheduled the week on October 10th. To address this, United Healthcare has added additional meetings to cover impacted locations.
The attached is a comprehensive list of all meetings. Those meetings highlighted in yellow are the additional meetings that were added to accommodate the delay in invitation mailing. This list also includes a few additional meetings that were scheduled.
Retiree meeting invitations are being mailed in waves, with the second wave mailing last week covering meetings scheduled starting October 24. The last wave of invitations, which are mailing now, are for the additional meetings recently added.
Click here for the list of all meetings.
CWA Verizon retirees, please watch this 15 minute slide show from United Health Care about our Medicare Advantage benefits effective January 1, 2017: http://www.brainshark.com/ovations/vu?pi=zHizOKgr2zNoZYz0
Election Bus to PA for Hillary: Click Here
Election CWA Candidates NY Area: Click Here
Election CWA Canidates Phone Banking: Click Here
PDF of Mailout about Medicare Advantage to Verizon Retirees: Click Here
PDF of Schedule of Medicare Advantage Plan teleconferences: Click Here
Below is the schedule of upcoming events and communications related to theMedicare Advantage implementation
October 10 – November 18
Live retiree meetings
October 18 – December 1
November 7 – November 18
Week of December 12
ID Cards Mail (from UHC)
Week of December 19
Post-enrollment packet mails (from UHC)
Retiree Education Campaign
Teleconferences (audio only)
There will be 36 teleconferences. See Retiree Teleconferences click here for a full list of teleconference dates & times One teleconference will be offered to each retiree. Retirees will receive information in the mail.
Teleconferences for retirees without a live meeting available will be scheduled between 10/18-11/16. All other retirees will be able to attend teleconferences between 11/21 – 12/1.
Teleconferences will be a 40 minute presentation followed by 20 minutes of live FAQ
Enough ports will be open to accommodate every person who receives the invite.500 – 4,000 lines available per call. Following the 20 min FAQ session, retirees will be advised to call customer service with any additional questions
A pre -recorded teleconference will be available at retiree convenience starting 9/30
To access the pre-recorded teleconference call: 866-505-9259; Passcode:4601
4. Recorded online presentation available 24/7 (audio/visual)
Recorded onlinepresentation (brainshark) will be available at retiree convenience starting9/30 The presentation will be hosted on: uhcretiree.com/verizoneast
Check out Human Billboard in CWA national newsletter for retirees: Grey Matters
Check out 1101 retirees in new issue of the Generator on pages 3, 5, 14.
Top: Retirees in front of the lead truck before the Labor Day March September 10. Second row, left: meeting to discuss upcoming changes to Verizon retiree health benefits; right, RMC members with District 1 VP Dennis Trainor. Third row, left, the march begins, retirees with banner behind CWA President Chris Shelton and VP Dennis Trainor; right, with NY Mayor Bill DiBlasio. Bottom; left, we make it to the end of the march!. Right: at golf fundraiser September 9 on the 16th hole, seated retirees Pat Welsh, Bill Hass, Mary Ann Hass, standing, active Chief Stewards Mike and Chris. As always, the active members were generous with their time, space, and money, and Mary Ann and Bill raised a substantial amount of money to replenish our treasury. Thanks to all who help keep our RMC chapter afloat!
January 1, 2017 Verizon Medicare- eligible covered retirees will be enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan . The Request for Proposal (RFP) process recently concluded and the Company selected "United Healthcare" to be the provider.An implementation schedule will be issued in the next few weeks with a timeline for:
- Written communication to retirees including: introduction letter, plan guide, education meeting invites, welcome packets and ID cards
- Annual enrollment dates
- Dates/Times that United Health care dedicated call center and website will open
- Locations for educational seminarsThe tentative expected timeline is as follows:
- Mid to late September- Verizon will send an overview letter to Medicare eligible retirees.
- Late September to early October- Verizon will send an "Introduction to Medicare Advantage Guide"
- October to November - United Health Care will send several written communication pieces to retirees and will send written invitations for informational seminars or informational teleconference calls.
- Early October - United Health care call center and pre- enrollment website opens
- October to early November - Retiree education meetings will be held in key locations where large numbers of retirees reside, and teleconference calls will be held for retirees and family members who are unable to attend live meetings
- November - Annual enrollment (dates to be announced)
- Mid to late December - United Health Care will send "Post Enrollment Welcome Packets" and ID cardsVerizon Benefits Center: 1-855-4VzBens (1-855-489-2367). 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.
Above and below: Bronx 1101 RMC membership meeting, August 10.
Eleven Takeaways from August 10 RMC 1101 meeting in the Bronx
Medicare eligible CWA Verizon retirees will be switching to a Medicare Advantage plan administered by United Health Care on January 1, 2017. We will then have one card only that bundles Medicare and the supplemental from Verizon, all administered by United Health Care, instead of our current two cards – Medicare and BlueCross/Blue Shield.
Medicare eligible retirees qualify for Medicare no matter what other plan they may opt out of or into. Some retirees may have a reason to use other supplemental benefits and opt out of their Verizon plan. Below is a text message copied from Verizon Benefits that corrects an earlier post on this website. If you do decide to opt out of Medicare Advantage please check and double check with Verizon Benefits about your rights to opt back in.
Please note the 30 day waiting period and then the next first of the month phrase below. That could turn into almost two months.
Also, keep in mind that if you opt out of Verizon supplemental (current or the Medicare Advantage that begins in 2017) you lose the other benefits bundled with it: drug and dental.
Please also note that this information comes with a disclaimer and that the final word on this is contained in the plan write-up, which we have not yet received. Please check and double check with Verizon Benefits if you plan on opting out and make sure to read the plan details when we receive them
As a retiree, you have anytime enrollment. You can drop or come back to Verizon coverage at any time and the coverage/change would be effective the 1st of the month after a 30 day waiting period. If you have further questions you may call the Verizon Benefits Center at 1-855-4VzBens (1-855-489-2367). Representatives are available between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.
Dental and drug coverage remains the same.
At this time there is no further information about the plan. As soon as any information is available we will share it. The cheapest, quickest way for us to communicate is through email, the website, facebook, and membership meetings (see below). Please sign up for email if you aren’t getting it now, and tell other retirees.
Verizon is obligated to send information out about the new plan 90 days before it goes into effect.
Please communicate with your health care providers (doctors, clinics, hospitals) when we have actual information about the plan and let us know both good and bad details.
We have good lines of communication open between our RMC chapters and the Local and District 1 and plan to keep it that way, and will be working with them as the plan goes into effect.
We are assuming there will be bumps in the road before January 1, 2017 and as the plan goes into effect in January, February, and March 2017
Solidarity goes both ways. Let’s remind everyone that the retirees are still there as an important part of the union. We were there during the strike. If at all possible, please try to attend our next membership meeting: the Labor Day March, September 10.CWA will meet on East 45th Street between Madison & Vanderbilt at 10am. Any new information about our benefits will be shared at the march.
Unions (the CWA and IBEW) can no longer bargain for retiree health care at AT&T, retirees there, similar to us in job titles, get whatever AT&T decides to give them, including nothing and Verizon wanted the same deal for us. The strike stopped that from happening.
During this election cycle we will watch what candidates are actually going to do about Medicare, Social Security, so called “Right-To-Work”, Financial Reform, Taxing the Rich, and the TPP. 1101 RMC brother Lew Grupper was an alternate delegate to the Democratic Convention for Bernie Sanders, and brother Pat Welsh is chair of the Westchester Working Families Party, so we will be getting good “insider” information during the run up to the elections.
Directions to American Legion at 1456 Shore Drive, Bronx,
Take #6 train to Westchester Square
Take #8 bus from Westchester Square going to Locust Point-Tierney Place
Get off at Dean Avenue and Lafayette
Walk Northwest on Dean Avenue towards Barkley Ave.
Turn right on Barkley
Walk to Shore Drive
Verizon retirees should have received a 14 page summary in an envelope like the one above left that begins like above right concerning August 1, 2016 changes to our retiree health benefits from Verizon. If you did not receive this call the Verizon Benefits Center at 1-855-489-2367 or go to their website www.verizon.com/benefitsconnection or
click here for a complete PDF. And please come to the membership meeting August 10.
Local 1101 is moving from its current Manhattan headquarters in August to a new location west of Madison Square Garden/Penn Station. When we have more information we will schedule our fall meetings for Manhattan.
Over 75 retirees packed the conference room at the Local in Manhattan last Wednesday, June 22 for a two hour presentation and Q & A from District One negotiator John Dempsey. Thank you John for your time and patience. Please see below for a quick summary. And retirees, let’s not forget that one of Verizon’s demands before the strike was to eliminate any and all bargaining for retiree benefits. The active members did not allow that to happen. Solidarity in action.
Twelve things to remember about CWA District 1Verizon retiree health care benefits.
No major changes for the remainder of 2016. (some small changes in formulary for particular drugs – you will be notified if it applies to you)
In 2016, if you turn 65 you will sign up for Medicare A and B (do NOT sign up for D) and receive supplemental from Blue Cross/Blue Shield
In 2017, Medicare eligible retirees will be placed in a Medicare Advantage Plan. Medicare Advantage Plans combine Medicare and supplemental into one plan administered by the carrier, but you are still in Medicare.
At this date no carrier and no plan has been selected
Verizon has promised that the coverage will be as good as our current coverage.
Many health care providers (Doctors, clinics, hospitals) have stated that they do not like Medicare Advantage. But again, (see #4) we do not have a plan or a carrier to take to a provider.
Verizon is obligated to inform all affected retirees 90 days before the new plan goes into effect in January 2017, so that would be sometime in October 2016
We are in close contact with Local 1101 and District 1 and will keep a two way communication going from now through the implementation of the plan in 2017 – information to us retirees whenever we receive anything from Verizon or the union, and information to the union and Verizon whenever there are “hurdles” or “bumps in the road” for implementation.
Pre-Medicare retirees as of 2017 will have three options for coverage by 2018: the current one, a cash option, and a New Plan to be developed in 2017 and available in 2018.
Medicare eligible retirees in 2017 in Medicare Advantage with pre-Medicare spouses or other covered dependents will have those covered under the pre-Medicare plans.
Please stay in touch by checking in on the website and sign up for the email list if you are not receiving these emails.
And lets keep a close watch on Congress, especially those right-wing politicians who want to “save” the programs we depend on by making them smaller and weaker. As retirees we all need strong, solvent, sufficient Medicare and Social Security.
Great video interview during the strike with 1101's Pam Galpern & District 1's Bob Master - CLICK HERE to watch
Top row: Left, Fordham Road, Bronx, May 20. Right, 111 Main, White Plains, May 19. Middle and bottom row above May 18, CWA retirees, active members, allies from other unions, 581 B'way, Manhattan.
For strike updates: standuptoverizon.com
Above, second from left, on the line with his union brothers and sisters, Paul Romersa, April 27. Paul was always ready to help out, always encouraging, an all around great human being.
RIP. Paul, you will be missed.
RMC Human Billboard, April 27
Above, RMC spells it out across from 1095 A of A, so Lowell McAdams could get a good look, while others leaflett pedestrians.
Next, we moved over to 42nd Street across from our striking CWA union brothers and sisters in front of the Verizon Wireless store.
And then crossed the street to join the picket line. Below: active and retired CWA members together. Solidarity, that's how we do it.
Thanks to all who participated from 1101, 1103, 1105, 1109 RMC!
Below: Bronx Membership Meeting April 20 with Marvin Anderman
Below: 1101 RMC at Mondays huge rally and march from 36th Street CO to 42nd Street past Verizon headquarters. Thanks to all retirees who attend this and so many other ongoing rallies, pickets, scab hunts & leafletting
Thanks to all retirees who attended the great 1101 contract rally March 31 at 1095 A of A. Above, some of the retirees with Local 1101 President Keith Purce. Below Pat Welsh, President of District 1 RMC addresses the rally, which stretched the block from 42nd St to 41st St.
Photos below from March 16 Membership meeting.
Wednesday, April 20, 1101 RMC Membership Meeting in the Bronx, American Legion, 1456 Shore Drive, Bronx, NY 10565
Wednesday, April 27, Human Billboard, 1095 A of A (42nd & 6th Ave)
Photos below: Tornados do not stop 1101 RMCers!
Membership Meeting February 24 at the Local in Manhattan, 1101 VP Al Russo, BA Ken Tucker, and Secretary-Treasurer Kevin Condy update on likelyhood of upcoming Verizon strike. We also discussed Medicare costs, (click here to calculate), and click here for the complete story on Medicare and upcoming costs in 2017. Also coming up: the CWA "Take On Wall Street" financial reform campaign and Click here to register for the CWA Sponsored Democracy Rising coalition. We also heard from our own super delegate, 1101 RMC brother Lew Grupper about the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. More on all the above in the coming weeks.
Photo below: Some of the hearty retirees who braved the cold weather to attend the first RMC meeting of 2016 on January 13 at the Local.
RMC Holiday Party, December, 2015
(see photos below)
Retirees partied after a busy year (click here to see the 2015 postings) and were brought up to date about contract mobilization by VP Mike Baxter, BA Val Valentino, and President Keith Purce. We really appreciate the support with space, time, and money from the Local 1101 officers and staff. We are with you all the way. Special thanks to Mike, Ilene, Anita, and Theresa for all their hard work that made this party such a big success. Thanks to Pat Gibbons for chairing the elections committee. The officers were re-elected unopposed. Thanks to everyone who participated in our busy year, helping with mailouts, meetings, fundraising, picket lines, marches, leafletting, rallies, time and money. And thanks to everyone who lives too far away to attend, who calls and writes to send their support.
Fundraiser Game 2016 Details click here Or mail in your pick & check. Fundraiser form click here
Thanks to all who made 2015 a great year for 1101 RMC.
All the photos and still relevant postings for 2015 (except the holiday party, above) have been moved to a new page: 2015