MAR’s New Operations Manager
Aroostook Agency on Aging – Free Course
Are you an Aroostook County resident 50+, and interested in advocating for aging issues? Would you like to learn how to affect change in your community in a free, 6-day course? We are offering the first Aroostook Civic Academy, and we want you to apply to be a part of it!
Each session will introduce you to aging policy and advocacy techniques that will give you the skills to make positive change. Apply to join our first group of Aroostook County adults, age 50+, and become an advocate and recognized leader for aging issues in your community.
Applications are due on Friday, September 23, 2022, at 5:00 pm
Click here for more information.
MAR’s New Executive Director
Maine Association of Retirees, Inc. (MAR) is pleased to announce the appointment of Diane M. Bailey as MAR’s Executive Director starting July 1, 2022.
Diane has been employed for the past seven years as MAR’s Operational Manager working closely with the current staff, management and Board of Directors.
Diane’s experience at MAR along with her forty (40) years’ experience in Maine State Government primarily in related health insurance policy will continue to serve MAR members with exceptional service and facilitate a smooth transition.
Please feel free to contact Diane and congratulate her on her appointment.
Tax Season is HERE!
Below please find a few links from the IRS regarding filing and what to have ready, along with two other links for possible appointments to help with filing your taxes if you meet certain guidelines.
UMA Senior College NEWS
UMA Senior College will be offering some exciting new programs in 2022! First will be the Winter Lectures starting January 11 and held every Tuesday for 10 weeks at 1:00 p.m. on Zoom. In addition, the new French Film Series will be held every Saturday from January 22 through March 5 at 1:00 p.m. on the UMA campus Klahr Center and on Zoom. Visit the UMASC website to learn more.
Tuesday, December 14, 2021
Contact: Emily Cook
Secretary of State Warns of Scam Text
AUGUSTA — Secretary of State Shenna Bellows is warning Mainers to be suspicious of text messages they may have received from an entity claiming to be the “Maine DMV” which asks the recipient to click a link to get a refund check.
“If you receive one of these texts, don’t click the link! These scammers are up to no good,” said Secretary Bellows. “They could be phishing for your financial data, trying to install malware on your phone, or something else nefarious. Protect yourself and help warn others.”
Mainers with questions about suspicious texts or calls can reach the Secretary of State’s main office at 207-626-8400 and the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles at 207-624-9000.
Phishing campaigns via text, known as SMS phishing or “smishing,” are becoming increasingly common. Mainers should be wary of unexpected emails or texts asking for personal information, or instructions to click on links. The Maine Attorney General’s office has a helpful list of red flags to watch for in order to identify potential scams: https://www.maine.gov/ag/consumer/scams.shtml.
A graphic to help spread the word about this scam is attached and available to share from the Department’s Facebook page.
MEDICAL INSURANCE NEWS
Annual Medicare Open Enrollment is held October 15th through December 7, 2021 for persons who decide to purchase individual Original Medicare or an Advantage Plan. Marketing materials from a number of insurance companies such as Martin’s Point, United HealthCare, Humana, etc. are mailed to people who are age 65 and over. You can ignore these mailers. As a public service retiree you have medical and drug insurance coverage under one of the following group plans – State-Aetna Medicare Advantage; Educators-Anthem Medicare PPO; Municipal-Anthem Retiree Group Companion Plan.
NOTE: If you chose not to have medical insurance for yourself and/or a dependent under a group plan, then during Medicare Open Enrollment you can make changes to your individual health coverage plan.
STATE RETIREES ONLY: There will be benefit enhancements which will take effect on the Aetna Medicare Advantage Plan beginning January 1, 2022. You will receive further information from Aetna prior to January 1st.
National Tax Security Awareness Week November 29- December 3, 2021
An article from the IRS regarding awareness of scams, identity theft, and ways to protect your information.
Important News About Your Employee Health Insurance Premium
According to Employee Health & Wellness there was a slight increase in certain plan premiums beginning in July 2021. These rate increases will be mitigated by a Premium Holiday for the months of September and October 2021 – resulting in a lower overall premium cost for the year. State of Maine Health Plan members will get a break (or “holiday”) from medical premiums for the months of September and October.
On August 12, 2021, the MainePERS Board of Trustees adopted the 2021 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) using the Consumer Price Index – Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rate compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics on June 30, 2021, as the basis for COLA for all pension plans to which it applies. Since the June 30, 2021 rate was 5.4%, all plans will receive the maximum COLA allowable by law.
Eligible State, Teacher, Judicial, and Legislative retirement plan retirees will receive the 3% COLA on their benefit up to $22,947.11 (which is the 2021 base), or a maximum increase of $57.37/month. The 2021 COLA-base will increase by 3%, to $23,635.52. The total amount that will be paid to the approximately 37,100 eligible benefit recipients in these plans during the next 12 months as a result of the 2021 COLA is expected to be approximately $18,300,000.
Eligible Participating Local District – Consolidated Plan (PLD) retirees will receive a 2.5% COLA on their current benefit. The total amount that will be paid to the approximately 8,600 eligible benefit recipients in this plan during the next 12 months as a result of the 2021 COLA is expected to be approximately $3,900,000.
Eligible recipients will first see the COLA reflected in their September pension payment.
You can read more about eligibility requirements and how your plan implements this COLA on MainePERS website.
BECOME A CONTACT TRACER
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently recruiting for a number of positions related to the spectrum of work that is “contact tracing”. Among the positions they are looking to fill are field epidemiologists, informatics epidemiologists, logistics coordinators, managers and supervisors. As we continue to expand the project, other positions may, and likely will, come up. Here is how MAR members can become involved:
- Send a cover letter and resume to Ed Gott at Atlantic Staffing (email@example.com) to be considered for specific positions for which we are recruiting;
- If members are interested in volunteer work, they are invited to visit this website: https://www.maine.gov/covid19/maine-helps to see the Governor’s message on how Mainers can help. If you scroll down the page, you will find a link to MaineResponds.org, the Maine Emergency Health Volunteer System webpage. If you register at this site as a person willing to provide services during a disaster or emergency situation, this will help the CDC collect some information and will also put you in a group to whom they can push notifications when they are looking for volunteers for specific tasks;
- Keep an eye on the DHHS webpage (https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/) and the Maine CDC webpage (https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/airborne/coronavirus.shtml ) for announcements regarding recruitment;
- The Maine CDC will also be using platforms such as LinkedIn, Monster, Maine Craiglist and Maine Joblink (https://joblink.maine.gov/ada/r/ ) to advertise openings and opportunities.