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By John Jacobsen “T


he purpose for which the Association is formed is to bind the members thereof together in a closer bond of fraternity,


for mutual protection, and to assist fellow members and their families in sickness, distress and death, and to promote and improve social relations and welfare


among the members.” This may sound somewhat like a run on sentence, but this


is straight out of our bylaws. Most of us are not overly interested in reading bylaws; however this one in particular needs to be occasion- ally reread. It is with this lengthy phrase in mind that your Relief Association is operating and I hope that most of you would agree that we are living up to it. grass Valley, California. Can anyone pinpoint what the


attraction was when a cluster of retirees started migrating to this area? Was it the beautiful scenery, the potential to strike gold or just to move to a place surrounded by a lot of other retired fi remen? Re- gardless of the answer, it is quickly nearing the time of year for an- other Grass Valley Reunion (May 16th -20th). While the majority of the attendees have always been retired, I think it is an event that a lot of members who are still working would really enjoy. There will be a Golf Tournament, a Pot Luck Dinner, a Social Hour and Catered Barbecue to name a few points of interest. It has been and always will be a great opportunity to see someone you might not have run across since you had dragged a hose line down a hallway with them. Stories are told, memories are challenged and just an overall great time to “improve your social relations and welfare among the members” will be happening. Look for the specifi cs on www.lafra.org and the page outlined in this Grapevine. Check your mail box for a postcard indicating that Open


Enrollment is near. The entire packet will be following shortly thereafter and will refl ect that the dates for this year are April 16th- May 11th. The Open Enrollment Guide will provide an overview of the LAFRA PPO Medical Plan for an effective date of July 1, 2012 and will tell you how to enroll or make changes to your coverage. A question that routinely comes up revolves around eligi- bility for the LAFRA PPO Medical Plan. As an Active member, you


must be a Relief member in good standing. As a Retired member, you must be a member in good standing and you must have been covered under the Plan for a total of seven (7) years while you were active to receive the applicable group rate. If you don’t have the seven years invested, you will be charged a higher subscriber rate until you have been covered for 84 months. The philosophy behind this is to keep the shareholder feeling alive and well. It is not just dumb luck that the benefi ts provided and the services we enjoy are the way they are. The ownership that you all take in our LAFRA medical plan is one of the many reasons why it continues to remain rock solid.


Many of you have read and probably discussed the recent


announcement that UNUM will no longer be issuing group Long Term Care (LTC) policies. The company philosophy was to cease growing this portion of their business due to a combination of his- torically low interest rates and the uncertainty of risk and pricing trends. I would like to set your mind at ease as to how this may im- pact the LTC plan that is being passed through the Relief Associa- tion. It does not and will not affect our Plan that is already in place. This decision will not impact the quality of service provided to cur- rent policyholders and claimants. Our existing policy will continue to be administered and accept future enrollees. All current members on claim will continue to receive their benefi ts and all future sub- missions will be processed and paid as outlined in your policy. For those of you who are looking for the glass half full portion of this announcement; we are pleased that we were able to implement this LTC plan when we did and to have jammed our foot in the door before it closed. Just remember, “do what you can while you can because who knows what tomorrow will be like.”


Respectfully,


John e. Jacobsen President@Lafra.org (323) 259-5200


April 2012 • 5


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