November 2020
TRICARE Open Season
The 2020 TRICARE Open Season begins November 9 and ends December 14, 2020. During TRICARE Open Season, if you're enrolled in TRICARE Prime, TRICARE Prime retiree or TRICARE Select on active duty, you can:
  • Do nothing. If you want to stay in your current TRICARE health care plan, you don’t have to re-enroll. You’ll continue in your current health plan through 2020 or as long as you’re eligible. Note: If you're a Group A retired beneficiary, meaning if you or your sponsor’s initial enlistment or appointment occurred before January 1, 2018, you and your family must pay a new monthly TRICARE Select enrollment fee to maintain your TRICARE Select coverage. Sign up during Open Season. These fees go into effect January 1, 2021.
  • Enroll in a plan. If you’re eligible for a TRICARE Prime option or TRICARE Select but not enrolled, you can enroll in a plan now
  • Change plans. If you’re already enrolled in a TRICARE Prime option, or TRICARE Select, you can switch plans and switch between individual and family enrollment.


What Happens if I Don't Take Action?
If you fail to pay your enrollment fees by Dec. 31, 2020, you’ll be disenrolled from TRICARE Select. You’ll have 180 days from your last paid through date to request reinstatement. You’re also responsible for past enrollment fees. You must contact your regional contractor to request reinstatement.
If you don’t take action, you’ll only be able to get care from a military hospital or clinic if space is available.

Federal government deferring payroll taxes for certain members
Social Security taxes will be deferred for many federal civilians and uniformed members through the end of this year.

There is no opting-out of the deferral and the taxes will be collected in 2021. This does affect any Federal or State withholding.

Once the payroll offices for civilians and military members program the deferral of payroll taxes certain employees’ take-home pay will increase for the remainder of the year. The deferred payments must be collected in early 2021 (spread out in January, February, March, and April 2021), in addition to regular payroll tax withholding for that period. 

The tax deferral comes in response to a Presidential Memorandum on Aug. 8. This will affect about about 5,600 Coast Guard civilians and 38,000 active duty members.
What does this mean to you?  The federal government will defer the Social Security (Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance or OASDI) employee deductions for:

  • Civilians whose gross Social Security wages are less than $4,000 in any given pay period
  • Military members at or below $8,666 of basic pay only per month (Typically O-5s and below, and E-10s and below)

The deferral will not impact employees in retirement plans not subject to Social Security withholding (i.e. CSRS).

Set the date!
2021 Convention
2 - 8 August
We're all sad to have missed out on our Seattle Convention this year but we're hoping to make up for it by scheduling our 2021 Convention at the Shoreline Inn & Conference Center, Muskegon, WI, during the 2021 Coast Guard Festival. Just minutes away from Grand Haven, we'll be able to conduct Association business 2 - 5 August and attend the Coast Guard Festival main activities 6 - 7 August. Make it a family event and ensure to enjoy all that Grand Haven has to offer, and enjoy the Festival as well!

A big thanks to our new Convention Committee Chair, CWO2 Amy Ponce (ret) for putting this plan together.

More to come in future communications!

2021 CPOA NATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTOR ELECTIONS
The CPOA is looking for seven dedicated Chiefs to serve on the National Board of Directors for a three-year term from 2021-2024. Our Association needs new ideas and people willing to work to make those ideas a reality.  

Per Section V of the CPOA Operations Manual, the nominating period for all Board of Director positions will open on 1 October & close on 25 November 2020 (the day before Thanksgiving), and all nominations must be received at the National Office by that date. Nominations should contain a statement citing your reasons for seeking National office, and a brief bio is also helpful in providing your fellow Chiefs with a little info about your background.

Job descriptions for the Officer and Regional Advisor positions can be found in Section II of the CPOA Operations Manual.

Nominations should be sent to the National Office via Email to: 



2021 CGEA NATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTOR ELECTIONS
We have begun our National Officer election process. If you would like to be a part of the decision making and future of the CGEA, please send in your nomination request to the National Office at:


Election procedures and guidelines can be found in our Procedures Manual

New Officers will be installed at our annual National Convention which will be held in Grand Haven, MI August 2021.





The Coast Guard Is Getting a New Raise in Sea Pay



Coast Guard members in most afloat commands will see their Career Sea Pay rates increase by $55 a month effective Oct. 1. The new fiscal 2021 rates bring the maximum monthly sea pay amount to $805.


Financial Relief for Child Care Costs


Access to quality child care is a long-standing issue for military families, now worsened by the pandemic. If your military family depends on child care so you can go to work, work from home, or work on your education, we want to help by providing your family with cost reimbursements.

NMFA is awarding reimbursements up to $1,500 to eligible families.

 Book of the Month
Rescues from the Sky features the true stories of the US Coast Guard Aviation Medical Rescue Service as seen through the eyes of a wet-behind-the-ears flight surgeon fresh out of training. The events it recounts took place during the author's experience while stationed at US Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco from 1971 to 1973. 
PCS Recently?
If you've recently moved or have a change of rank, please take a second to ensure the National Office has your updated info by going here...



Not receiving your magazine? 
 If you've recently retired and were using an allotment to pay your dues, there's a good chance you are no longer an active member. Please read these procedures for starting, changing, and stopping an allotment in Direct Access II/Retired Global Pay Self-Service. 


If you've PCS'd or moved, please let us know where you are with our change of address form.
New Pay and Allowances
to Help You Through COVID-19

Several new pay and allowances are now available to members and their dependents.

These entitlements are part of the overall military effort to support our members during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please contact your local SPO to determine your eligibility for these new pay and allowances.


The CPOA USAA Credit Card
  • Use the card that shows your pride in the mission and programs of the CPOA.

  • Save on annual and foreign transaction fees.

  • Show your pride with an exclusive card design.

When Isolated At Home, Reconnect With Old
Service Friends
These unprecedented times are contributing to a higher level of anxiety, particularly among our Veteran population. The constant flow of often discouraging news, along with a reduced ability to mingle with others to keep spirits up, makes it difficult for some to maintain their morale. TogetherWeServed, a military heritage community website and home to over 1.9 million U.S. Military Veterans, wants to help.

A secure virtual base for Veterans

During a Veteran’s military service, their base, ship or shore station is place to call home – a safe haven to share in the company of some of the finest men and women with a mission in common. Together We Served (TWS) aims to replicate that same spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood in its own “Virtual Base” website.

With its membership containing only active serving and Veterans, TWS provides a secure platform for all Veterans to engage with other Veterans on a level that is simply not possible in most social networking environments.

 
To obtain your Free Full Membership, please go to this  special link only for CPOA/CGEA members. 
 
 Family of deceased Coast Guard members who wish to join CGTWS to create a Remembrance Profile for their loved one should email admin@togetherweserved.com.
 
 For more information on TogetherWeServed.com, please view their short informational video at: www.youtube.com/twsmilitarywebsites
Recently Retired?
If you've recently retired and were using an allotment to pay your dues, there's a good chance you are no longer an active member. Please read these procedures for starting, changing, and stopping an allotment in Direct Access II/Retired Global Pay Self-Service. 
  
  Or just call the U. S. Coast Guard Pay & Personnel Center 
 
1(800)772-8724
to talk to a pay technician 
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Admin Notes: 
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Mailing Address:
U. S. Coast Guard CPOA/CGEA
5520-G Hempstead Way
Springfield, VA 22151