1st Quarter 2019 Benefits Corner

Benefits Corner 

By John Dewes, Interim Chair

John Dewes Captioned

This is my last Benefits Corner as the Interim Chair of the Benefits Committee.  I am pleased to announce that Bill Dodge has agreed to step in and has been appointed to the position effective January 1, 2019 by the Association President, Kathy Henschel.  Bill’s contact information is:

832-934-0680 (Central Time Zone)

Open Enrollment went pretty well – just a few problems, which is great considering 40,000+ retirees. The Via Benefits newsletter came out on time this year. Some people found the communications from Chevron hard to understand, but most of us were able to work our way through them.  Good Job!

There will be no change in the amount of the HRA reimbursement in 2019.
Several instances have been reported by our retirees where HRA reimbursement stopped during the year.  You have to have paid medical/dental premiums from medical plans offered through Via Benefits and had them reported to Via Benefits, or paid Medicare Part B in order to be reimbursed.  The surest way to claim reimbursement is to use the November Social Security letter that states your Medicare Part B premiums for the coming year. (This is greater than the maximum reimbursement.)  Instructions for filling out your personalized claim form(s) are on the Via Benefits website under Claims and Reimbursement.

  As retirees, we have the time to do some traveling, and perhaps, even the resources to do so. Here is some advice from Medicare about health services:

In general, Medicare won’t pay for health care services or supplies if you travel outside the U.S. (except in rare cases). That doesn’t mean you have to travel abroad without coverage.
Here are 3 ways you can get health coverage outside the U.S.:
• If you have a Medigap policy, check your policy to see if it includes coverage when traveling outside the U.S.
• If you have another Medicare health plan instead of Original Medicare —check with your plan to see if they offer coverage outside the U.S.
• Purchase a travel insurance policy that includes health coverage.
Find out more at Medicare.gov. Safe travels!

There is a new Chevron Benefit Connect website for pre-65 retirees which is “hr2.chevron.com/BenefitConnect”.   All pre-65 retirees will have signed up for this, but post-65 retirees will be advised by Chevron when and how they need to sign up as more activity is moved to the new website from the old Benefits Connection.  Instructions on how to sign up were given in the October 5, 2018 mailing from Chevron.  TIP! If you do decide to register now, please answer “No” to the first two questions – only employees would be able to answer yes - and then enter your Social Security Number in response to the third question. 

Reminder: please update your Via Benefits profile with your new Medicare number. Via Benefits is able to use your Social Security number for 2019 but will not, going forward.

Personal Planning Worksheet – What Your Survivors Need to Know.  None of us is immortal.  There will be a time for each of us to “shuffle off this mortal coil,” as Hamlet called death.  Two of the best legacies we can leave for our survivors are a clean house and a clear path to all of our critical information.  CRA has created a very useful document to record “all” of what your survivors do need to know.  I strongly recommend each of us complete at least the Personal Information Worksheet and the Survivor’s Checklist as a gift to your family. The Planning Worksheet can be found on the Chevron Benefits section of the Retirees website.

As we enter the year 2019, check to see that the medical/dental bills are being paid and your HRA reimbursement is flowing into your bank account.

In any case, when you are not able to get answers or appropriate action from either the HRSC or Via Benefits, please contact Bill and he’ll do what he can to help.

I hope I’ve been of service to those of you who contacted me for help.
John Dewes
Interim Chair, Benefits Committee