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May 13, 2009 FEA Europe Update

1. Teacher Pay Options, 22/26 Pay Period Option
2. OPM Announces FLTCIP Contract
3. AFN commercials about a Housing Survey
4. Plan for the first week of school next SY
5. Privacy Act Training
6. VERA Offered Again: Only two days left for this opportunity
7. Local Leader Training
8. Names of new FRSes and other Local Officers
9. Area Director Travels
10. Expressed concern
11. Thank you Chuck for the extra work


1. Teacher Pay Options, 22/26 Pay Period Option:

Reminder to submit your change (if you want the change) from 22 to 26 pay period. The suspense date is May 31st from what I have read, no request will be accepted after this date!

2. OPM Announces FLTCIP Contract:

The information below concerning Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program comes from the OPM web site.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced May 1 it had awarded a contract for the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) to the John Hancock Life and Health Insurance Co. The seven-year pact offers enhanced benefits, which include increased home health care reimbursement, new benefit periods, higher daily benefit amounts and increased payment limits on informal care provided by family members, OPM said. Premium rates for current enrollees with automatic compound inflation protection will increase between 5 percent and 25 percent. The program has not had an increase in the last seven years. There is no premium increase for enrollees with Future Purchase Option, OPM said. OPM said that John Hancock will provide a decision period for current enrollees before any premium increases take effect. OPM said enrollees will have a chance to choose from personalized options that include remaining with their current benefit structure, keeping their current premiums substantially the same by making changes to their benefits, or taking advantage of a one-time opportunity to switch to the new benefit structure without underwriting--in other words, feds get an "open season" opportunity to change their benefits through the new plan, and they do not have to qualify for enhanced benefits via underwriting. John Hancock has been a 50 percent joint-program insurer since the program's 2002 inception, OPM said. "The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program is an important benefit that helps enrollees pay for long-term care costs that are not covered by health insurance, which can be emotionally and financially devastating for their entire family," said OPM Director John Berry.

Premium Hikes, Other Changes Coming to FLTCIP

Several benefit changes are ahead in the FLTCIP long-term care insurance program, in light of a new contract award in the program following the expiration of the original seven-year term. The program will be continued to be administered by LTC Partners, but one of the original providers, MetLife, has dropped out and the program will now be provided only by the other, John Hancock. OPM said the newly issued seven-year contract provides for benefit changes including increased home health care reimbursement, new benefit periods, higher daily benefit amounts, and increased payment limits on informal care provided by family members. Premium rates will remain the same for current enrollees who took the future purchase option for inflation protection--which essentially gives enrollees the choice to buy inflation protection at a higher cost--but rates for those with automatic inflation protection will increase between 5 and 25 percent depending on age, OPM said.

3. Lately there have been some AFN commercials about a Housing Survey. This particular survey is for the military only. We are working to insure that the Dept of State surveys civilians in a timely manner.

4. This is just an early reminder concerning next school year. Please work with your Principals planning for the first week of school so we have the maximum amount of time to work in our classrooms. Consideration for the online training has to be factored in as well. Working now will help smooth the way for the first 2 weeks of school. Please see the attached MOU on Privacy Act Training.

5. Privacy Act Training: for next school year. The MOU is attached explaining when this training should be done.

6. VERA Offered Again: Only two days left for this opportunity: Applications will be accepted between May 5 and May 15. Contact your District HR specialist if you have questions.

7. Local Leader Training: There are still a few spaces available for our "Local Leader Training" in on May 16th. We are trying to finalize plans for this meeting. While we call it "Local Leader Training," it is really for anyone interested in learning more about the Association, its history and accomplishments, how it works, and our directions for the future. The training will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mannheim HS, with the Association providing lunch. Please let Chuck McCarter know in advance if you plan to attend so that we can have enough training materials available.

8. Please let Chuck and I know the names of new FRSes and other Local Officers. This will help us create our email lists for next school year.

9. Area Director Travels: Chuck and I will both be traveling this month, visiting schools. Please forgive any delay in our responses to your e-mails.

10. To all that wrote and expressed concern about my parents; both parents are out of the hospital now! Thank you for your expression and concern. My sisters were both impressed by the level of compassion expressed by so many!

11. I have to apologize in not thanking Chuck McCarter for covering for me while I was on Emergency Leave. Thank you Chuck for the extra work/effort you made to help our members!

Respectfully submitted,
John

John Luchtman
FEA Europe Area Director
Federal Education Association
Work 354-6844 Civ 09721-4758012
Home Fax/Answering machine 09725-5372