About the Washington State Chapter

Officers:

Judy Stenberg, Regional Vice President (VP-NRLN@NRLN.org)
Susie Coulter, President Washington Chapter (pres.wanrln@gmail.com)
Neil West, Regional Grassroots Director (nwest7847@gmail.com)

The Washington Chapter was established in January 2013 when the Association of U S WEST Retirees (AUSWR) closed business. It was determined at that time that the work that could be done by AUSWR was competed. However, continuing work at the federal level should be the focus of retirees and seniors.

Anyone can join the Washington Chapter regardless of where they live, what company they work for or retired from, or are an interested senior. Click here to join the Washington Chapter. Scroll down in the “Name of Retiree Association or Chapter” window and select NRLN Washington State Chapter.

Following Is Important Information.

Emails from the NRLN -If you are not receiving Chapter and NRLN emails, send an email to contact@nrln.org or call toll free 866-360-7197

Action Alerts needing your action now (If you have taken action—Thank you!) Click here to access NRLN Action Alerts.

NRLN Facebook Page will tell you about the work the NRLN is doing on your behalf. If you have a Facebook account, go to www.facebook.com/nrln1.

Reduced Drug Cost - Check GoodRx (That is all you have to type in your browser.) to obtain a coupon for a reduced price if the drug is available. Click here to access the NRLN Useful Links webpage for other useful information for seniors.

Who to contact when a retiree dies:

CenturyLink Service Center 800-729-7526
CenturyLink Phone concession
(west of the Mississippi) 800-659-3279
(east of the Mississippi) 800-872-4016
Social Security 800-772-1213
Medicare 800-633-4227
Veteran’s Administration 800-827-1000


You should know who represents you in Congress.

Below are their names and Washington D. C. phone numbers. If you don’t know who your Representative and Senators, Click here. Type in your street address and zip and click GO. The names and photos of your members of Congress will appear.

Senators

Patty Murray 202-224-2621
Maria Cantwell 202-224-3441

Representatives

District 1 Susan DelBene 202-225-6311
District 2 Rick Larsen 202-225-2605
District 3 Herrera Beutler 202-225-3536
District 4 Newhouse 202-225-5816
District 5 McMorris Rodgers 202-225-2006
District 6 Kilmer 202-225-5916
District 7 Jayapal 202-225-6197
District 8 Schrier 202-225-7761
District 9 Smith 202-225-8901
District 10 Heck 202-225-9740

NRLN Report Cards tell you if these people support you.

Every one of the people who represent you have an NRLN report card on the NRLN Website. Click here and select your state on the USA map. When your state appears, click the EXCEL Download tab.

Congressional District Leaders-these are the wonderful people who have agreed to step up and to be a leader in your district.

Congressional District 1 Christine Hansen
Congressional District 2 Vacant
Congressional District 3 Francis Affolter
Congressional District 4 Owen Gahlhoff
Congressional District 5 Dolly Watkins
Congressional District 6 Diane Fehl
Congressional District 7 Vacant
Congressional District 8 Herbert Roberts
Congressional District 9 Sherry Brunette
Congressional District 10 Susie Coulter

Century Link Telephone information

CenturyLink Telephone Company website: Retiree information website-go to www.centurylinkbenefits.com

Judy Stenberg’s Report To You

I had meetings on Capitol Hill again the end of February. I met with the staff of the following people:

Senator Romney-Utah
Senator Merkley-Oregon
Senator Murray-Washington
Senator Tester-Montana
Representative McAdams-Utah
Representative Fulcher-Idaho
Representative Smith-Washington

These staff people have responsibility for advising the above people on Medicare and pensions for their respective bosses.

You need to be aware of the issues that were brought to them, because they will affect you personally.

The cost of drugs. I told them that the NRLN advocated passing legislation to direct Medicare to: 1) mandate competitive bidding for drugs, 2) allow importation of safe, less expensive drugs from Canada, 3) End pay-for-delay, brand name drug companies paying generic drug companies to delay bringing cheaper generic drugs to the market. I told them that we have brought these needs to Capitol Hill multiple times and NRLN members are not seeing any action and they are asking why?

Medicare Advantage Plans are disadvantages to you if you have original Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans have failed to compete without you providing a taxpayer subsidy to MA plans. Their overhead is 12 to 14% (because of officer compensation?). Original Medicare is 2 to 3%. Now in 2019 the government is giving money to MA plans so they can market new benefits at your expense. These benefits can include, but are not limited to, food consulting, home delivery of groceries, over the counter drugs, etc. These benefits are not given to you who are in original Medicare. The NRLN is asking that the government investigate and report publically on the cost effectiveness of Medicare Advantage without you and me giving them subsidies. The NRLN does support grandfathering those currently in MA with the benefits they received prior to 2019.

De-risking of pension plans. It is reported that up to 87% of companies expect at some point in the future to do de-risking (converting pension to an insurance company annuity). The NRLN advocates that when a full plan termination takes place retirees should have the option of rejecting an annuity buyout, must receive insurance protection for annuities, and must be protected by specific safe harbor provisions. If CenturyLink de-risks your pension (sells it) you will become a single annuitant and lose your current government protections.

Pension plan recoupment takes place when there is a pension plan calculation error by a pension plan sponsor. Today, a retiree must pay, sometimes immediately, any overpayment that is due to the pension trust fund. The error may have gone on for years. The NRLN advocates that the errors be absorbed by the pension plan sponsor not the retiree.

Amend Sec 420 to reduce pension plan surplus transfer limit from 125% to 110% and use the surplus for healthcare and life insurance benefits. Only about 10% of companies are affected by the proposed amendment.

Region Conference Calls - On a member call I discussed in detail the issues above. If you missed the call you can contact me at VP-NRLN@msn.com. I will be happy to talk with you about how you can be affected by these issues.

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  Copyright John Bozinny 2012 July 17, 2019