E-news for 2019
The ASURA E-news is published after each Board Meeting and sometimes extra issues are published. The listing of future events, the last section of most E-news issues, has been deleted. Note: the links are likely broken.
Editor is Barry McNeill
|5 Dec 2019||
How about the new E-news format! I know I said there would be no E-news in December but a couple of issues came up that warranted attention.
Pueblo Grande Museum Volunteers Needed
Volunteers are needed for the 43rd Annual Indian Market at the Pueblo Grande Museum, Dec 12-16
The Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park at 4619 E. Washington Street is pleased to host the 43rd Annual Indian Market on Saturday, December 14th, and Sunday, December 15th, from 9am to 4pm. The Museum is looking for volunteers to help with this fun event featuring authentic foods, dances and Native American jewelry, pottery, weaving, sculptures, fetishes and more. Shifts are either 3 or 4 hours, with plenty of time before or after to enjoy the event and the museum for free! Parking is also free.
Set-up will begin Thursday, December 12th, and tear down will conclude on Monday, December 16th. There are many areas needing volunteers, including: Parking Attendants, Booth Sitters, Hospitality (refreshments for artists and volunteers), Flat Cart/Shuttle Drivers, etc.; see the list below. Please contact Volunteer Coordinator Susan Larson at email@example.com or William Fitzhugh PGM Volunteer Coordinator at William.firstname.lastname@example.org at your earliest convenience to volunteer for this fun event.
Jeri Meeks, ASURA Past President
List of Volunteer Jobs with Dates and Times
Thank You Note from ASURA's ASU Adopt-a-Family
Thank you so much for the gift card to Sprouts. This was truly a blessing for me and my family. Here's some of the things we picked up for our Thanksgiving dinner.
Thank you so much on family's behalf.
|13 Nov 2019||Today – Chicago 21 F and snow, Phoenix 71 F and blue skies – so which place makes the most sense? This E-news addresses the following three topics.
Note: There will be no Board Meeting in December so this will likely be the last E-news until next January.
November ASURA Board Meeting
A number of items were presented and discussed. Among the more interesting ones are:
Campaign ASU 2020
Campaign ASU 2020 continues. As the end of the year approaches perhaps you feel an itch to donate to the campaign or more specifically to the ASURA scholarship endowment which is currently at around $70,000. The larger the endowment the less has to come from operations to fund the $10,000 scholarship. Following are two links you can use to donate:
|9 Oct 2019||Open enrollment for 2020 health insurance begins in October (ADOA) / November (ASRS) and it is not too late to attend the ASURA Open Enrollment Seminar, tomorrow, October 10 - just show up, no registration required.. This issue of Enews covers the following 3 items:
October ASURA Board Meeting
A number of items were presented and discussed. Among the more interesting ones are the following.
HELP WANTED - ASURA is looking for volunteers to help with the planning and presentation of this conference. If you are interested please contact Joe Carter, Dean of the Emeritus College at email@example.com with a CC to Jan Thompson, President of ASURA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Board Member Nomination Committee
Tara Roesler is soliciting members for the ASURA New Board Member Nominating Committee. If you would like to help Tara please contact her at email@example.com. If you have ideas for new Board Members see the article in the current Prime Times for details.
|16 Oct 2019 Suppliment||This special edition of Enews has two articles of immediate interest.
2020 Open Enrollment
The ASURA 2020 Open Enrollment Health Care Seminar held Thursday, October 10, at the Arizona Historical Society Museum was well attended. Following is an updated version of the artcle Bev Buddee wrote for last year's open enrollment seminar. Since the article contains time sensitive information that all our members might find helpful in selecting their 2020 health insurance options, Bev suggested we share the article with all our members via Enews and not just with those who attended the seminar.
This year ASRS is offering Medicare eligible retirees 2 plans to choose from: 1) Group Medicare Advantage HMO and 2) Group Medicare Advantage PPO. This is a passive enrollment for this group unless plan changes are desired.
For Non-Medicare eligible retirees, ASRS has consolidated the 6 plans offered to in-stateretirees in 2019 down to 2 more focused plan choices for 2020, the Choice Premier and the Choice Value. The Choice Plus PPO option is available for out-of-state retirees only. This is a passive enrollment too, however if a retiree is enrolled in an in-state non-Medicare plan through the end of 2019, and takes no action during the Open Enrollment period, they will either
Also new this year, ASRS is reconfiguring the rate structure to a more equitable approach in which premiums are directly based on the number of plan participants. Some plans will see a premium decrease while others will see an increase.
There are 4 dental plans from which to choose with no premium change for 2020.
Retirees are encouraged to click here to be directed to the ASRS Open Enrollment web page, view the video that more clearly explains the plan changes for Non-Medicare eligible retirees, and review the open enrollment information, including the schedule of open enrollment meetings, specific to Medicare eligible and Non-Medicare eligible retirees, which are planned for various sites around the state. Open Enrollment booklets will be arriving soon at individual homes. The inside cover of the back page lists helpful telephone numbers and websites. ASRS members are encouraged to review their current coverage, make changes to personal information, etc. by logging into their respective MyASRS account.
Submitted by Bev Buddee
Re-accredidation of Programs in College of Health Solutions
The College of Health Soluitons as asked that we share the following information with our members.
The Master of Science in Communication Disorders and the Doctor of Audiology programs are currently under review for reaccreditation. A joint site visit by the CAA will take place October 21 – 22, 2019.
A public meeting will be held on October 21, 2019 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Lattie F. Coor Hall on the ASU Tempe campus, Second Floor, Room 2201. No RSVP is needed. Anyone who wishes to attend is welcome.
Standards for Accreditation and/or the CAA's Policy on Public Comment may be obtained by contacting the Accreditation Office at ASHA, 2200 Research Boulevard, #310, Rockville, Maryland 20850, calling ASHA's Action Center at 1-800-498-2071, or accessing the documents online at http://caa.asha.org/.
12 Sept 2019
|It was almost pleasant when I went for my morning walk today. The operative word is “almost” but the trend is in the right direction and the worst of summer temperatures are behind us. This issue of Enews covers the following 4 items:
September ASURA Board Meeting
Barry Bruns presented the budget for the 2019/2020 year which was approved. The budget includes money to upgrade the ASURA Office computers and continues to support the ASURA scholarship at the ten-thousand-dollar level.
At least partially because of the number of calls ADOA received from you, Jeri Meeks and Larry Carlson reported that ADOA had pulled its proposal to eliminate the opportunity to obtain coverage under an ADOA plan during open enrollment provided you kept your ADOA dental plan. But both Jeri and Larry indicated there was pressure from the state government to make this change, possibly via the legislative avenue. They will both keep an eye on this issue.
2019 Meet and Greet with Panel
Jean Duncan’s and Bev Buddee’s committees hosted a very successful Meet and Greet Pizza Party with Panel. There were around ninety attendees, fourteen Introductory Members. The event was held in the Conference Center at Ability360 on Washington Street in Phoenix, giving us enough space to host this record setting number of attendees. If you would like to read a short story about the event you can find that on the ASURA Past Events page for 2019. If you would like to see some pictures taken by Elmer Gooding, Don Nilsen, and myself check out the ASURA Photo Gallery.
New ASURA Webpage Menu
While reviewing our sister Arizona retirement associations’ websites this past summer we noticed a particularly interesting item on the NAU site – a menu item for Retirement Information. This is clearly a logical menu item for a retirement association’s website and so during this past summer Connie McNeill generated the new menu Retirement Info. The menu has seven sub-menu items:
Some of this material is new, e.g., the section on If your Spouse Dies which was suggested by the NAU RA website, while some is previous material that has been updated, e.g., Technology for Retirees. I encourage you to visit the ASURA website and review the material in the Retirement Info menu. Let me know what you think about this material and any suggestions you have for improvement or additional topics.
10 Aug 2019
|August has turned out to be a very busy month for ASURA and while an August Enews is unusual there are several news items I wanted to share with you immediately.
Keep Your ASU Outlook! Email seminars canceled.
Great news from the University Technology Office (UTO)! They have realized how difficult it would be for us retirees to make a change away from ASU Outlook. So they have notified us that there are no plans (and there will be no plans) to close ASU Outlook/Exchange accounts for anyone who retired from ASU prior to July 1, 2019. They will continue to transition new retirees off of ASU Outlook/Exchange, except for emeritus/emerita faculty who will be able to retain their accounts regardless of when they retire.
As a result, we are canceling the seminars “Email and Leaving ASU Outlook” that were scheduled for September 26 and 27. Those seminars were intended primarily to help with a transition away from ASU Outlook that is now not necessary.
We are so glad that our association was able to make the case with the UTO, and that the UTO was so responsive. After all, it is key to our mission to advocate for retirees.
Thank you for your feedback on this issue, and for your patience while we got things sorted out.
Important information for ADOA-insured retirees:
The Governor's Regulatory Review Council (GRRC) is considering a rule change (R2-6-105) that could impact retirees with ADOA medical or dental insurance. The proposed rule would eliminate the opportunity to obtain coverage under a plan if you have not had continuous coverage with that specific plan since retirement.
If you are enrolled in an ASRS Medical plan but have kept ADOA Dental coverage so that both plans would be available for comparison to you annually, this rule change could eliminate that option.
The GRRC meets again on September 4, when the rule change will likely be considered. Tara Roesler will be attending this meeting to get clarification of the impact, if any, on those already retired.
For more information on how this rule change could affect you, or to object to the change, contact Scott Bender at ADOA, 602-542-4048.
4 June 2019
Special Issue: ASRS Retirees with Deceased Beneficiaries
|In response to an issue raised by an ASURA member last week, Jan Thompson, ASURA President, asked Dick Jacob,ASURA's ASRS Liaison, to write an explanation of the policy at issue. Dick's piece was then slightly amended by Paul Matson, ASRS director, so it's current official ASRS policy. If you have questions or need clarification please contact ASRS.
Barry McNeill, Enews Editor
ASRS RETIREES WITH DECEASED BENEFICIARIES
If you are an Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) retiree who chose what is referred to as a “Joint and Survivor” pension option that provided your beneficiary (spouse or some other person) with a pension after your death, and if that beneficiary precedes you in death, you may find it advantageous to take one of the following actions:
It is important to note that it is up to you - as the member - to notify ASRS in writing of the death of your beneficiary and to make one of the amendments above. By State statute, no retroactive increases to your monthly pension benefits can be made to you if you delay this process.
|14 May 2019||I just went out for the mail and it is getting hot; the trip to Iceland next January (see calendar) seems more and more attractive. This issue covers three items:
The Fall Pizza Party is Moving
The fall Pizza Party and December Holiday Potluck have outgrown the rooms in the Community Services Building and the Events Committee looked around for a new venue. At today’s Board Meeting Jean Duncan, Chair of Luncheon and Special Events Committee, presented a proposal to move these two event to Ability 360 facilities. Several of the attributes that made Ability 360 an attractive venue are:
The Board agreed with Jean and approved money for the room charges.
Adopt-a-Family Program Needs a Committee and Chair
Joan Leard has run the ASURA Adopt-a-Family program for as long as I can remember but she has decided it is time for someone else to take over this excellent program. You can read more about the program on the ASURA website and if you click on the “Adopt” link at the bottom of the webpage you can read how Joan carried out the tasks.
There are all sorts of reasons you should volunteer but for starters two big reasons are:
Please consider gathering a couple of your ASURA buds together and volunteering. To volunteer or get more information please contact Jan Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 480-820-2723
|5 April 2019||It is hard to stay inside while the weather is so wonderful but there is time for a quick April Enews which addresses:
The Annual Meeting
If you missed this year’s Annual Meeting you missed a very good event. Tara Roesler planned and carried out a very successful meeting.
Elmer Gooding, Don Nilsen, Gary Kleemann, and John McIntosh took pictures which are now available in the ASURA Photo Gallery for your enjoyment. Note: if you see any errors with the photo captions let me know and I’ll get it corrected.
Volunteers Needed for Intel International Science & Engineering Fair
The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) is coming back to Phoenix on May 12-17, 2019, As is always the case volunteers are needed – mostly for judging but there are other needs as well. This science fair is the “Olympics of Science Fairs” and is a great opportunity to meet some of the outstanding young up-and-coming scientists and engineers. For information on volunteering see ISEF Flyer.
|12 March 2019||While April showers bring May flowers March showers bring you Enews with material about:
March Board Meeting
The February meeting addressed Honoring Healthcare Wishes in Arizona. It was an informative discussion between lawmakers, police, fireman, EMS representatives and nonprofit health information exchange (HIE) panelists. All were in agreement that these professionals are relying on relatives to provide documented end-of-life wishes and that it would be very beneficial for responders to have those wishes, along with medical records, available before they met the patient. Efforts are being made to make this information available to responders through a health information exchange database
This year’s Annual Meeting is being held on ASU’s Downtown Campus. The Walter Cronkite Building is on a Light Rail stop and there will be parking beside the building. Tara Roesler has engaged the Dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications to speak on the Future of Journalism. It is easy to register and there is plenty of room so bring along all your fellow ASU retirees.
|13 Feb 2019||BRRRRRR what happened to spring? This issue of Enews contains material about:
February Board Meeting
Pat Schneider reported on a meeting that presented data showing that pensions were less expensive to operate than 401K plans. The ASURA legislative liaisons will continue to monitor suggested changes in the various retirement plans.
If you have a question or suggestion for the ASURA Legislative Liaisons please contact Jeri Meeks
Board Member Election
You have all received your Board Member Ballots but not everyone has voted. Now is the time to take a few minutes and vote as a way to show your appreciation for the candidates’ willingness to help guide ASURA. Short candidate bios for Jane Carey, Larry Carlson, Evelyn Cesarotti, Carl Cross, and Frank Koonce are available at Board of Directors Ballot (2019). The easiest way to vote is to send an email to email@example.com with the names of the candidates you wish to vote for. If you would rather send in a paper ballot, information on how to do that is available at Board of Directors Ballot (2019) webpage.
The Annual Meeting comes early this year, Thursday, April 04. This year's Annual Meeting will be held in the Walter Cronkite Building in Downtown Phoenix and will feature a talk by Professor Chris Callahan, Dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Professor Callahan will speak on The Future of Journalism. You will want to get this event on your calendar.
Access to Digital Financial Records After Your Death
Gary Kleemann raised an issue that might be of interest to lots of retirees: Many of us depend on digital accounts with various institutions, such as banks, to manage our financial affairs. We also rely on emails sent to us by these institutions. How can those who need to take over our financial affairs upon our death deal with these things? Of particular interest to Gary is the fact that he is using his @asu.edu e-mail address in connection with his accounts at many institutions. What happens to that address upon his death?
The article “Access to Online Accounts: Helping Your Executor and Loved Ones” makes suggestions for safeguarding your digital assets. The article suggests making a list of your user names and related information. One convenient way to do that is to use a Password Manager -- see the article “10 Best Password Mangers of 2019” for help in learning about and selecting one of these. Password managers can be a real convenience and safeguard for you now in addition to helping after your death.
If they wish, your executor or loved ones can change the email associated with your accounts to their own once they have access. Or they can continue to use your email address. Most email accounts will stay open so long as they are active unless someone notifies the company that the account should be closed or that the holder is deceased. The account will be automatically closed or suspended when it meets the company’s policy regarding inactivity. This is true of ASU – your account may be suspended if it is inactive (for a period that ASU does not specify) and will be closed if requested or if notification of the account holder’s death is received. You can check the policy for any other email provider you may use by searching on something like “when does my xxx account expire”, where xxx is the name of your email carrier, such as Google.
For all of the non-financial things that you keep “in the Cloud” such as Facebook, Google, hard drive backups and so forth, there is an article “Is Your Digital Life Ready for Your Death?” published a couple of years ago by the New York Times that can help you plan.
Article by Connie McNeill
Phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies or known friends in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers or perhaps to buy something recommended by the “friend”. For example, several ASURA members received emails from “Tara Fuchs Roesler” urging them to buy a product.
There are programs that use artificial intelligence to recognize a phishing expedition, but these are primarily for companies. For individuals the best barrier is to be vigilant and not just open every email or click on every link that comes your way. Ask yourself:
The Phishing.org website has a nice list of Social Engineering Red Flags that can help you think about whether the email is legitimate or not.
Note: Banks and financial institutions will not ask for personal information via email or suspend your account if you do not update your personal details within a certain period of time.
ASRS’ New PPO Plan
Some of our members who have ASRS health insurance plans and transitioned to the new PPO plan are being told incorrect information from their providers. Tara Roesler spoke with Julie Lockwood of ASRS and Julie said that ASRS is trying to educate the providers as quickly as possible but that if an ASURA member has an issue, the member should call the number on the back of their insurance card. United Healthcare will assist them with their provider.
Spring Prime Times
Jeannette Robson has produced yet another wonderful Prime Times which is now available online in color on the ASURA Website at Prime Times
|9 Jan 2019||
Well we’ve had our one week of winter and now it is on to spring! This issue of Enews contains material about:
January Board Meeting
Note: if you would like more detail about Board business you can read the Board Meeting Minutes by visiting the ASURA website, clicking on “About Us” menu item and selecting Board Minutes and the year of interest.
Finding Your Legislative Representatives
The new session of the Arizona Legislature and United States Congress has started. After the last election do you know who your legislative representatives are? Do you want to see what is going on in the Arizona Legislature? The ASURA website can help you locate answers to these questions. One of the website menu items is “Related Organizations”. If you hover over the menu item you will see a number of links including links to the AZ Board of Regents, Arizona State Legislators – How to Contact, Arizona State Legislature, and many other organizations of interest.
Research Volunteers Needed for Max Cycle Testing Study (redux)
Now that the holiday season is behind us you may be ready for a little exercise. Ian Villanueva, a graduate student at ASU, still needs volunteers for his research study. The volunteers are needed for an exercise study looking at measuring maximal cycling ability and maximal oxygen uptake. The volunteers should be:
Study participation includes two visits to the ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus. Each visit last about ninety minutes and there is a $30 compensation for completing both visits. If you are interested contact Ian at Ian.Villanueva@asu.edu or by phone at