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2017-2018 Rep Council


Executive Board

President
Lori Tewksbury (AHS)

Vice President 
Ken Lorge (AHS)

Treasurer
Justin Seligman (CHS)

Secretary
Hope Hauptman (MHS)

At-Large Member
Petro Petreas (CHS)

Acalanes Site Reps
Cathy Challacombe
Elizabeth Gough
Holly Thompson

Campolindo Site Reps
Mathew Bostick
Tom Renno
Dino Petrocco

Las Lomas Site Reps
Ladan Amin
Travis Nelson
Jill McTaggart

Miramonte Site Reps
Megan Flores
Linda Long
Carla Unroe

Negotiations Team
Misha Buchel (AHS)
Kim Fisher (LLHS)
Ken Lorge (AHS)
Sarah Morgan (CHS)
Rebecca Promessi (MHS)
Patrick Wildermuth (CHS)

Elections Chair
Vicki Zalewski (AHS)

Communictions Chair
Sarah Morgan (CHS)

        Twitter @acalanesEA




FAQs for Acalanes Retirees on Medicare

About Our (AUHSD) Change in Health Plan Administrators from CalPERS to SISC 

Why are we leaving CalPERS?

•  The Administrative Fee

CalPERS has been our health plan administrator for over 20 years.  They negotiate with the various plans for rates and coverage and then tell us, in June, what the rates will be for the following calendar year.  The administer plans for any/all public employees in California who choose to join.  Part of the agreement to be in CalPERS, includes an administrative fee that the District must pay on behalf of each employee (active or retired) enrolled.  When we first joined CalPERS, this administrative fee was $1 per month per person enrolled.  It has ballooned to $132 per month per person enrolled.  This fee is not seen by people enrolled – it is part of the total cost of the health plan you are in, but that administrative fee is paid by the District.  For current employees and those under 65 on the Medicare bridge, the administrative fee and the remaining cost of the health plan (up to the tiered Kaiser rate for active employees and up to the 2-party Kaiser rate for retirees on the Medicare bridge) is paid by the District. 

Because the District was enrolled in CalPERS, retirees from the District who receive Medicare could choose to purchase their Medicare supplement plans through CalPERS.  Because of the CalPERS rules about the administrative fee, the District was required to pay the administrative fee for Medicare supplement plans for retirees who chose to stay with CalPERS. 

 When this administrative fee was low, liability for this expense was low and the District could “pay as you go.”  Then accounting requirements for District changed several years back requiring the District to run actuarial studies and delineate the amount of this liability in their budget.  As this liability increased (as the administrative fees from CalPERS increased), this liability resulted in some negative consequences for the District and its employees.  (Lack of endorsements for local parcel taxes, the creation of a special fund into which was sequestered of 2% of payroll to cover the liability, to name a few.)  This was occurring at the same time as the structure for school funding changed from “base revenue limit” to “local control funding,” a shift that has had a huge detrimental affect on state income to our District.

 •  Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)

When Governor Brown took office, he changed the way schools are funded from the state.  Before we were paid the same per student based on our base revenue limit (BRL) and this base was increased across the board whenever we have COLA increases.  The new state funding (LCFF) pays a much smaller base amount per student than under the BRL system.  Then, Districts get extra money added to that base for the number of unduplicated students – these are English Learners, kids in foster care, and kids who qualify for free and reduced lunches.  Here at AUHSD we have very few of these students and so our funding from the state is very, very low compared to the rest of the state and compared to what we used to be able to expect and plan on under the BRL system. 

•  The Health Plan Choices and Stability of Rate Increases

The rates and health plans offered by CalPERS each year varies tremendously.  For example, last year (2017) they offered a very narrow-range, inexpensive HMO to compete with Kaiser (Health Net).  This year, the cost of this plan jumped by over $130 more per month, an obvious bait and switch tactic on the part of CalPERS.  CalPERS rate increases have not been uniform across the state, with our, Northern California rates, being one of the  highest in the state with some of the greatest increases year to year.  

Two years ago, the District created a joint District-AEA-SEIU benefits committee to study benefit options available for both active employees and retirees to see if we could provide the same or better level of care while saving money.  What we found is that there are other, large, health plan administrators that only cover schools.  This gives them a better risk pool and the ability to offer similar plans to CalPERS at comparable or cheaper costs.  We also discovered that other health care options such as health savings plans and an expert second opinion (free of charge) through some of these administrators; things that CalPERS doesn’t offer. 

The combination of these meant we were going to have to make a change at some point.  The possibility of more plan choices and better services under SISC was the final deciding factor for our move to SISC from CalPERS.

What does this mean for my Medicare supplemental insurance plan?

If your Medicare supplemental insurance plan is administered by CalPERS, you will have to move to a different plan if you want to continue having a Medicare supplement plan. 

 As part of our agreement to leave CalPERS, the District agreed to host retiree health benefit fairs and notify all retirees about the move out of CalPERS.  There will be various health plan administrators at these fairs to help answer questions, explain options that are available to you, and set up times to meet individually (if needed), and help you sign up for a new plan.  SISC and AARP representatives will be there, as will Kaiser representatives.  Others will be there as well – for a full list, please contact Amy McNamara, Associate Superintendent for Human Services at the District.  Her email is AMcNamara@acalanes.k12.ca.us and her phone number is (925)280-3970 X6624.  These fairs are currently scheduled for September 27th, 2017 and October 17th, 2017.  If you cannot make either of these fairs, you can schedule an appointment with Amy and she can review options and share information with you individually.

 Why are retirees 75 and older getting $80 a month from the District?

During the course of our 2-year benefits study, we found that the SISC and CalPERS Medicare supplement plans are priced much higher than options offered directly by Kaiser, AARP, etc. because they are not age-rated.  Our review showed that most people (people under age 75) would be able to save money even without the subsidy by buying supplemental insurance directly rather than through SISC or CalPERS.  However, we realized that for those 75 and older, obtaining Medicare supplement plans on the open market might be more costly and that it would be better for these retirees to stay with our new administrator, SISC.  SISC costs for Medicare supplement plans is slightly higher than what CalPERS charges (at the time of our study it was $80 per month higher), so the District agreed that for all current retirees, when they reach age 75 (or are already 75 or older), they would give them an $80 per month contribution to help offset the increased cost of a SISC Medicare supplement plan.  This is available only if someone is enrolled in a SISC Medicare supplement plan.

What did AEA do to help the retirees with this change away from CalPERS??

The District was required to pay the administrative fee to CalPERS for all active and retired employees enrolled in CalPERS!  When we move to SISC, that requirement goes away and the District will not be paying this for anyone.  We care about our retirees!  That’s why we agreed to this move only if the District would assist retirees in their change to a new Medicare supplement plan and to offset higher costs for older retirees who may not find cheaper plans on the open market.   The administrative fee to CalPERS was never something guaranteed to people because they retired, it was guaranteed to people as long as we stayed with CalPERS as our health plan administrator and they remained in a plan administered through CalPERS (which not all of our retirees did).  Current active employees will be in the same situation as current retirees when we retire in that we will not receive the administrative fee, nor are we eligible for the $80 offset if we stay with SISC at age 75 and older  That is only available to current retirees to ease the costs of finding a new Medicare supplement plan at age 75 or older.

What if I can’t attend either health fair date?

You can make an appointment with Amy McNamara, Associate Superintendent for Human Services at the District.  Her email is AMcNamara@acalanes.k12.ca.us and her phone number is (925)280-3970 X6624.  She is happy to review options and share information with you.