3rd Quarter 2006 Benefits Corner

by Ken Smith, CRA's Benefits Chairperson

Chevron remains in holding pattern regarding many aspects of Medicare

I just returned from the CRA Annual Meeting and, as always, it provided lots of topics for this column. Claudia Polidori, Chevron's manager of U.S. Benefits, made her usual outstanding presentation and provided the key issues which are addressed in this column.

The issue probably foremost on all our minds is: "What is Chevron's position with regard to Medicare D for 2007?" Claudia made it clear that the corporation is still in a holding pattern concerning many aspects of Medicare D. Information flow from the government with regard to implementation is slow. However, she did provide some insight as to what we can expect when September/October, and the important Open Enrollment Period, comes around.

As previously reported, Chevron will take the role as secondary provider to prescription drug service for 2007. MEDCO, now recognized as a Medicare D plan provider, will continue as Chevron's PDP (prescription drug provider).  Again, it is important to note that when signing up for a plan in 2007, if you want the Chevron medical portion of the plan, you must sign up for Medicare D through Chevron. DO NOT sign up for both a Chevron plan and an unaffiliated Medicare D plan.

Claudia also gave attendees an update on the Chevron Benefits Connection. Significant upgrades have been made to this internet tool, which warrants all retirees with web access to check it out. By logging onto Benefits Connection, you can make changes to your personal data; access medical plan descriptions; and review specific plan coverage for your plan. Additional information of value is updated and posted regularly.

Give it a try. You access it by logging onto http://hr2.chevron.com  and then clicking on Benefits Connection.

For our new Unocal retirees, Claudia indicated that active Unocal employees will be brought into the Chevron plans effective July 1. Retirees will be brought into the Chevron medical plans on January 1, 2007, and will participate in the normal Open Enrollment period scheduled later this year. The first letter, which will contain all specifics, is scheduled for mailing to retirees at the end of August.

I know many are concerned with the ever increasing cost of health care. So am I. Our Company works with numerous consortiums to seek reductions in health care premiums and prescription drug costs. Chevron regularly reviews our existing plans and seeks ways to improve or add to the options our retirees have available to them.

As always, if you have questions, feel free to contact me from wherever you live at kennethgsmiith@aol.com.  Or, if you cannot access email, please call me at 303-805-5162 (Colorado). Have a great and healthy summer.