By Tom Moutes, RLACEI Legislative Director
The process LACERS goes through annually to negotiate with healthcare providers, get the contracts in place, and conduct open enrollment takes almost the whole year. Then, the process starts all over again! In some years, LACERS goes out to bid on the plans. In other years, it seeks renewal proposals from existing healthcare plans. It looks as though LACERS will be going out to bid this year, which means changes to some medical and dental plans may take place.
With the LACERS staff going out to bid on the contracts this year, it is an especially good time to weigh in on whether you like your current medical plan. Remember, there are only two Retired LACERS representatives on the LACERS Board – one appointed and one elected. While they may receive requests from a few LACERS members regarding healthcare wants and needs, their experience with the LACERS medical and dental plans still is very narrow. The LACERS staff is covered by the healthcare plans for active City employees, so they do not directly experience the Retiree plans.
In recent years, LACERS transitioned many of its Medicare plans from “Supplement” plans to “Advantage” plans (please see my January 2023 Alive! article for more information on Advantage plans). How have these transitions impacted you? Do you like the new plans or dislike the new plans? Either way, you should weigh in with the LACERS Board.
If there are any benefits that you would consider to be useful going forward, you should also weigh in on those. There are many examples of the LACERS Board researching and negotiating new benefits into the plans. One example is when a Retired member lets LACERS know that aging people need deep dental cleanings. At the time, deep cleanings were not part of the benefits, but based on that one member’s inquiry, they were integrated into the plan.
So, please help LACERS help you by taking just a couple of minutes to let them know what you like, don’t like, and need regarding your health and dental plans. Your input really can make a difference!
The LACERS Board can be reached at LACERS.firstname.lastname@example.org.