Department & Division News

Right-Sizing Your Health Insurance

(This article first appeared in the May-June 2016 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

Retirees frequently search for ways to cut expenses. Recently, many have asked if you can still switch your coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB) from Self and Family to Self Plus One.

Although active-duty employees are only allowed to make changes during Open Season (except when they experience a life-changing event), federal and postal retirees may decrease their health insurance enrollment at any time.

Self Plus One enrollment allows participants to get coverage for themselves and one other eligible family member.

For many retirees, it’s worth considering. First, find out if your current plan offers Self Plus One coverage. Good news for those in the APWU Health Plan! It offers Self Plus One coverage. If you are currently covering yourself and your spouse only, you may want to look into enrolling in Self Plus One.

To make changes to your FEHB health insurance, call 1-888-767-7638 or write to US OPM Retirement Programs, Attn: Request Self Plus One, 1900 E Street NW, Washington DC 20415-3532. 

Photo contest winner Maryann Medina of California with fellow
retirees participating in a Stop Staples demonstration.

Older Americans Month Contest Winners

The APWU Retirees Department appreciates the many submissions to the photo and essay contest.

Essay contest winner retiree member Regina Favors of Michigan wrote about the importance of civic participation and protecting our benefits in retirement.

“In the upcoming Nov. 8, 2016, election, retirees will be voting on issues such as the protection of Medicare and Social Security,” she wrote. “We must elect federal and state representatives who will make sure seniors are cared for. We are not afraid of the word socialism, because we know it stands for a federal economic system, which is how Social Security and Medicare is currently administered. Privatizing these programs will more than likely down grade the services and turn them into profit makers for rich investors. It will also deprive many seniors of their earned benefits.”

Beard Appointed to Legislative Director

As this issue of The American Postal Worker went to press, Judy Beard was appointed Legislative Director. (See p. 15.)

“Thank you for the opportunity to serve you. You are, and will remain, a great asset to this union. Your fight to protect the benefits you have earned and fought for will only succeed with the support of the entire membership. We must work together to preserve America’s Postal Service, as well as Social Security, Medicare and cost-of-living adjustments. I am humbled by the fighting spirit of the five retiree delegates (Al LaBrecque, Dolores Young, Byron Denton, John Richards, and Elizabeth Bobo), and the entire retiree membership. Remember the words of Frederick Douglass, ‘If there is no struggle, there is no progress.’”– Judy Beard