3rd Quarter 2008 Benefits Corner

by Al Horan, CRA's Benefits Chairperson

A Benefits overview on Annual Meeting

I attended my first CRA Annual Meeting which was held on May 18-19 in Louisville, Ky.  I was very impressed by the level of discussion of topical issues and the professional manner in which the meeting was organized and conducted. During the course of the two days, presentations were made by CRA Officers and Committee Chairs and Chevron, United Health and Medco.

An abbreviated version of the Benefits Committee's presentation will be posted on CRA's website, www.chevronretirees.org, at a later date. The presentations given by Chevron, United Health and Medco are summarized below.

Claudia Polidori, Manager, US Benefits, Chevron Corporation:

  • Chevron has approximately 65,000 US retirees, of which about 36,000 receive monthly pensions.
  • Open Enrollment will be held between Oct. 20-31. Plan changes are expected to be minimal and they will only be available starting Oct. 20.
  • Summary Plan Descriptions (SPD's) of existing 2008 retiree benefit plans will be available from Chevron's HR Center beginning about July 1. The HR Center may be contacted by phone at 1-888-TALK2HR (610-669-8595 outside the US) between 6AM - 5PM Pacific Time Monday through Friday. Please note their busiest times are all day Mondays and Friday afternoons. You may also access the Center by internet at hr2.chevron.com.

Brynn Valinoti, Senior Account Manager, United Healthcare:

  • During the 1st Quarter of 2008, UHC processed approximately 394,000 claims for Chevron. 96% were processed within 10 days of receipt and 99% within 20 days. Most claim costs pertain to Circulatory, Cancer and Musculoskeletal conditions.
  • UHC represents 7 of every 10 physicians and 8 of every 10 hospitals. Also, 98% of the US population has access to UHC providers.
  • UHC has placed more experienced personnel on Chevron's account to improve the quality of service.

Dr. Woody Eisenberg, Chief Medical Officer, Medicare, Medco:

  • Approximately 50% of Medicare drug spending in 2007 pertained to Cardiovascular (Cholesterol and High Blood Pressure) and Neurology, Mental Health and Pain (Depression and Alzeheimer's Disease).
  • It is illegal to buy medication in Canada or any other foreign country. Also, DESI (Drug Efficacy Study Implementation) Drugs and Off Label Drugs may not be covered. In the latter cases the patient's physician may be contacted for further information.
  • By law, Medco must inform Plan participants of changes in medications that may no longer be covered by Chevron's Plan. These decisions are made by Medicare and followed by Medco for the Chevron Plans. We are quite thankful to Chevron for attending the CRA meeting and arranging for UHC and Medco to attend. In addition to the above, we wish to update you on the status of increases in Pension Supplementations and CRA's proposed Dental Program.

Pension Supplementations: We continue to think that based on facts and circumstances a Pension Supplementation is long overdue for those retirees on fixed monthly pensions, especially those retirees who did not receive an increase in 2006.  Charlie Rhoads will be writing and presenting a resolution, which was unanimously approved by CRA delegates, to Chevron's senior management to provide an increase as soon as possible.

Dental Program: CRA delegates unanimously approved a Dental Program for dues- paying CRA Members. We continue working with MetLife and are optimistic about being able to offer CRA dues-paying members the opportunity of joining one of two dental plans offered by MetLife. Due to administrative issues, it looks like the Dental Program will be offered later in 2008 with an effective date beginning Jan. 1, 2009. We expect to provide details of the Plans in September 2008 and begin enrollment geographically shortly thereafter.

Lastly, just a reminder that your Benefits Committee stands ready to assist with individual issues you may encounter regarding your eligibility, participation in and payment of claims under each of Chevron's Benefits Plans. Our contact information is below:

- Al Horan, Caltex: E-Mail: awhoran@verizon.net, Phone: 972-964-1787

- Virginia Benfield, Texaco: E-Mail: vbenfield@comcast.net, Phone: 281-558-3807

- Linda Bulla, Texaco: E-Mail: jo2nlin3a@earthlink.net, Phone: 615-832-1046

- Bill Dodge, Chevron/Gulf:E-Mail: wndodge@sbcglobal.net, Phone: 832-934-0680

- Herb Farrington, Unocal: E-Mail: herbf76@msn.com, Phone: 714-904-5825

- Richard Watkins, Unocal: E-Mail: dwatkins@nctv.com, Phone: 903-451-3266