1st Quarter 2009 Benefits Corner

by Al Horan, CRA's Benefits Chairperson

Your Benefits Committee In Action

It's hard to believe that we are starting the year 2009.

In October, Chevron held open enrollment for their Medical and Dental Plans for 2009. (Please note this Dental only applies to legacy Chevron retirees.) From my perspective and based on discussions with Chevron it appears the enrollment went well.

Approximately 6,900 eligible retirees elected to change their coverage for 2009. 1,100 changes were made over the web and 5,800 were made by phone. All confirmations of coverage were mailed by November 3.

As I'm sure you can appreciate, 2009 will usher in new deductibles and plan changes. Also income tax season is just around the corner. You may wish to consider organizing your 2008 records, including your medical expenses and medical premiums paid during 2008 (Chevron premiums, Medicare premiums, etc.).

As you know, CRA's Dental Program will become effective April 1. Leading up to the effective date we've been quite busy behind the scenes reviewing MetLife dental literature, forms, etc. that will be used by MetLife to communicate the full details of CRA's Program.

In late January, MetLife will be mailing all dues-paying CRA members enrollment kits. The kits will provide explanatory information about the Dental Program. You will be able to contact MetLife's Call Center for clarification about Plan provisions and terms. The Call Center's contact information will be included in the enrollment package.

However, in the interim I would encourage you to visit MetLife's website, http://www.metlife.com/mybenefits and HDH's website, http://www.cradental.com. REMEMBER - PLEASE DO NOT contact Chevron's Service Center Benefits Corner's Dental Program since they will not be able to answer questions Benefits Corner's Program.  Lastly, I can very well appreciate that we are all having anxiety about the state of our economy. Retirees who are receiving monthly pensions are feeling the affect of rising costs while their pensions remain static.

Thanks to your responses for personalized data to demonstrate the effects of inflation on your fixed pensions, we were able to clearly demonstrate to Chevron your dire need for a pension supplementation increase. While we are still waiting for a response from Chevron, I'm encouraged that they are carefully reviewing our data.

If you have questions, contact one of the following Benefits Committee members:

- 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: 832-934-0608

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

- Richard Watkins, Unocal: E-Mail: wrwatkins@embarqmail.com, Phone: 903-451-3266