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Good Month of March Members,

I am not sure how aware the membership is of some of our in- ternal workings here at LAFRA. About 25 years ago, a program was put into place to better serve you and your family by accounting for and streamlining all of your personal information. Now the Firemen’s Relief Information Tracking System (FRITS 2) has evolved into a very sophis- ticated tool. All of your information is safely stored, sorted, categorized and organized so that we can serve you in the most efficient manner. But the final product (the FRITS 2 database) is only as good as the informa- tion that goes into it. So if the address, phone number, email, dependents, or beneficiaries that you last reported to us have changed or are not cur- rent, please notify us immediately. Sometime towards the end of the month you will be receiving

your Member Summary Report from the FRITS system. PLEASE look it over. Your beneficiaries are important to you. Please verify that we have the correct information on your sheet. At least once a month we receive a call about a member passing and because his/her information is not up-to-date, the benefits end up going to someone who is not the current spouse or significant other. Take a moment and look at your donations to the Widow, Or-

phans, and Disabled Firemen’s Fund (WODFF). Enclosed with the sur- vey will be a donation card for WODFF. The last time we had an an- nual giving campaign was four years ago. So for those of you giving ZERO, please consider $25 a paycheck. For those of you already giving, THANK YOU and please consider increasing by another 25 bucks. On the subject of knowing your benefits, it is important to take

responsibility and understand your medical and pharmacy benefits. Be- fore undergoing a medical procedure, please refer to the Summary Plan Description (SPD) which can be found at or call Health- SCOPE benefits, our third party administrator, at 866-955-2372 to con- firm coverage. Understand that some benefits have visit or dollar maxi- mums and if the limits are exceeded, you will have the liability. With that being said, one of the issues last month was an increase

in members utilizing outpatient “surgical facility” benefits. If you go to a non-contracted facility, you pay the $30 copay and then the benefit allows 80% of the charged amount, up to $2,780. Members have been surprised when these facilities charge up to $40,000 and the member ended up being responsible for the balance. A letter from “Anthem” that says your procedure is deemed “Medically Necessary,” does not mean that the procedure is an approved benefit on our plan. If you have any questions, call us. Do not just ask at the kitchen table. By now I am sure you are all aware of the LAFRA Health and

Wellness Fair that we are holding here on April 20 and 21. This free event was planned with you in mind - to help you and your family better understand your medical benefits. You’ll be able to have face-to-face consultations with HealthSCOPE, Express Scripts, Body Scan, VSP, Unum and all your other benefits providers. It should be a fun couple of days with lots of activities, demonstrations and even some raffle and

March 2016 • 5

door prizes. And if you RSVP and attend the event, you’ll have a chance to win a Garmin GPS Sports watch. I understand that it has Smartwatch functions that will work with either your iPhone or Android. See the ad on page 1 of this issue for details.

Please mark your calendars for these upcoming LAFRA events: • March 19 and 20 – Hook and Ladder Enduro • April 20 and 21 – LAFRA Health and Wellness Fair • May 11 – Lane Kemper Softball Classic • May 23 – 27 – Pechanga Reunion • June 2 – Hope for Firefighters

Be safe and be kind to each other!

Robert D “Steintalker” Steinbacher (323) 259-5200

Bob attended the Buzzard Bait event held on MLK weekend.

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