From the Desk of the President (March 2014)
events at the March 5, 2014 General Assembly
the second and final round of nominations for officers with terms expiring
4/30/14 will be completed by Nominations Chair, LaQuita Williams. Please contact
her at 612-348-0006 if you are interested in putting your name forward for any
of the open offices.
- we will elect up to 8 members to attend the Nellie Stone Johnson Scholarship
Reception, Silent Auction and Dinner. The local has purchased table for this
event which is held Thursday, March 27, 2014 beginning at 5:30 PM at the Prom
Center in Oakdale. Scholarship winners are announced and those present give a
brief speech about their goals. This is always an uplifting evening.
we will elect two members to attend the Labor Notes Conference held in
Chicago on April 4-6, 2014. The local will cover 1 day lost time, 2.5 days per
diem at $71.00 (2014 IRS rates), lodging for two nights and transportation
costs. If you would like information about the conference, visit their web site
at: www.labornotes.org/conference. Anyone interested in putting your name
forward for either of the two elections can do so at the meeting or by sending
me an e-mail no later than 2:00 PM on that day, 3/5/14.
events at the April 2, 2014 General Assembly
to the May 3, 2014 11th Annual MN State Retiree Council, AFL-CIO Fundraiser will
be given to members by drawing at the meeting. This is a fun event with food,
mu-sic, games hourly raffles and good company. Folks who attended in the past
all say they had a great time.
Membership will provide a presentation at the beginning of the meeting. Fruit
and pastries will be provided to munch as you think of your questions to ask the
join me in thanking Rhonda Griffin for her service as our distribution
coordinator. She tendered her resignation from that position. Rhonda has done a
fabulous job of recruiting members to do the distribution of the newsletter and
other materials as well as constantly updating the list for area by area counts
as workers move around. This is one of the jobs that is very much behind the
scenes but is extremely important to all of us as we remain connected to one
another. Rhonda - THANK YOU!!
then join me in thanking Laura Ross for taking on this task. She will be in
con-tact with folks to keep the list current. If you are one of our distribution
folks and you have changes in the number of copies needed for your area, please
send Laura an e-mail with that information.
I am at it, thank you to all of our distribution folks. The work that you do to
get the newsletter and fliers out to our members in a timely fashion is very
much appreciated by all of us. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
now, a new feature in my monthly column Ask Jean:
am often stopped in the hallway or on the street or, yes, even while shopping on
weekends by members who have a question about one thing or another some
union related, others work related and yet others about pending legislation.
Many times the questions are asked by more than one person. Some-times I dont
know the answer so have to do some research before responding always a great
learning experience as knowledge gained is knowledge shared. One of my friends
said I should start a column like Heloise has for house-hold hints just make
it about our con-tract and our work. So, here you have it Ask Jean.
inaugural question is one I have been asked a lot this month by folks with
dependents regarding the Dependent Audit for Health Insurance - why is this
being done, and why is it be handled by an entity other than Hennepin County
am copying the answer provided in the letter sent on February 3, 2014 to those
employees with dependent coverage:
ensure that only eligible dependents are covered under our health plans,
Hennepin County has retained the services of HMS Employer Solutions (HMS), an
independent firm, to conduct a de-pendent eligibility verification audit. This
is a common practice that helps organizations make sure their plans are
compliant, competitive and cost effective. This process also helps manage
overall plan costs, which benefits all employees. In order to ensure that
dependents en-rolled in the health plans meet the eligibility guidelines, HMS
Employer Solutions has been authorized to obtain documentation regarding your
enrolled dependents. Protecting your personal information is a priority to
Hennepin County and HMS. All documents provided during the dependent
verification audit are securely stored and protected through physical,
electronic and procedural safeguards. For more information on privacy and
security, please refer to the enclosed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
detailed list of documents required to validate each dependent can be found on
the reverse side of this letter. You must provide all required documentation for
each enrolled dependent to HMS no later than March 21, 2014. You will be
notified by mail that all documentation has been received if all documents are
sub-mitted before March 21, 2014.
follow-up question is, who is a dependent eligible for coverage?
I am copying that information from the letter:
As a reminder, eligible dependents are defined in your Summary of Benefits as:
Your legal spouse
Your child up to age 26. Coverage may be extended to a child of any age who is incapable of self-support due to a mental or physical disability.
Your grandchild that resides with you and is claimed as a dependent on federal tax return
child is defined as your natural biological child; stepchild; legally adopted
child or child placed with you for adoption; foster child; a child for whom you
or your spouse has been appointed the legal guardian, or a child for whom you
are required to provide health insurance by a Qualified Medical Child Support
should be referred to HMS Employer Solutions.
encourage everyone who has not already done so to read the letter and submit the
necessary documentation by the March 21, 2014 deadline.
you have a question that you would like to have answered in a future column,
please send it to me. I will do my best to find the answers and include them in
the coming months.