President’s Message – March 2020

Happy March to all, and those that share the Irish heritage in celebration of old St Patty! It is always a fun and festive month and another opportunity for all to show their true colors, GREEN/GREENER represents the month well! Another way for you to show your true color is to respond to LAFRA with any changes on the Member Summary Report/RAP and Beneficiary sheet you will be receiving in the mail. It is that time of year “FOR YOU” to verify the information we have on file is correct, please open up your mail and read both sides of the RAP sheet and check your beneficiaries to verify.

If you need to make changes to either the LAFRA—Update Form, or Beneficiary form, you can simply snap a picture with your cell phone of the revised document and email it back to (Fax and regular mail are excepted as well). There is NO need to call if everything is correct! If you still have questions, please contact our member service department at 323-259-5200 and they will be happy to assist you.

The month of March also brings us to another discussion of the color GREEN/GREENBACKS in determining new premiums for LAFRA Medical plans that will be effective July 1st, 2020. Fiscally, changes will affect active and early retiree (NON -Medicare) members enrolled in LAFRA’s PPO medical and Kaiser plans. LAFRA’s Medical committee works with a consultant to determine the assumed plan costs, highly based on Medical/RX trend, plan utilization, and possible plan design changes that have been discussed throughout the previous fiscal year. Once the Medical Committee determines the plan renewal, it is the fiduciary duty of the entire Board of Trustees to approve it.

As a fiduciary, Trustee’s duties are both legal and ethical to our membership, The City of Los Angeles, and The Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension Department. In other words, we have a legal and ethical obligation to act in the best interest of you, The City, and The Pension Department. Trustees are required to attend the “New Trustee” institute training at the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Program which places a large emphasis on a trustee’s fiduciary duty once they have been elected and Sworn-In. Additionally, every member of the Board of Trustees is encouraged to attend at least one conference a year for continuing education.

For the early retiree (NON- Medicare) population, a presentation of the plan’s renewal will be provided to the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension Board on March 5th, 2020, to determine “suitability” as board approved plans are made available to members. LAFRA has moved up the timeline in providing the required data as requested by the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension Board to approve our plans. This early timeline on LAFRA’s part should allow the Board of Fire and Police Pensions the ability to provide the new Non-Medicare subsidies so that we can provide you with the correct information, prior to the annual open enrollment month of April.

Back by popular demand, LAFRA will be providing a Medicare Seminar to our members. This year we have scheduled two dates and they are Tuesday, April 7th and Wednesday April 8th, 2020. Representatives from the LAFRA, Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension Department, and our new third- party administrator Healthcomp will be onsite to assist you navigate through this challenging time. The Medicare Seminar will be held at the LAFRA office and run from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. each day, and will be limited to 50 members per day so sign up as soon as possible. Lunch will be provided.

This month’s summary plan description (SPD) topic is found under “What is NOT covered under the medical plan.”

“Pregnancy or Maternity Related Expenses of a Dependent Child”– Pregnancy related expenses of a dependent child, including expenses for treatment of complications of any such pregnancy, except as required by the ACA or other applicable law.

As you know, one of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) many mandates is that children remain eligible for coverage until age 26, actually the end of the month in which your children/child turns 26, regardless of dependency or full-time student status, and that a non-grandfathered plan cover certain preventive care at no out-of-pocket expense to the insured.

Various screenings for pregnant women, breast-feeding support, and other prenatal services are included as recommended preventive services that must be provided to enrollees, including the employees’ enrolled children, at no cost.

But this requirement extends only to those recommended services that qualify as preventative services under the ACA and would NOT include the costs associated with LABOR AND DELIVERY.

Please take the time to educate yourself on the benefits that are, or are NOT available to you and your dependents. Next Month in April, open enrollment materials will be mailed out and allow you to start this process.


Save the dates:
L.A. 5k and Marathon – March 7th and 8th 2020
St Baldrick’s -March 14th
Hook and Ladder – March 21st
Pechanga – May 18th – 22nd.
Hope for Firefighters – June 4th

Be safe out there!

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Jeff Cawdrey

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