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Benefits News
Endowed Retirees – Open Enrollment is Here!

Endowed retirees on AETNA health plan coverage were mailed an open enrollment packet last week. It was mailed by AETNA directly.
Here is a highlight of the information you will receive:
  1. There are very few changes to retiree health plans for 2019.
  2. 2018 retiree premiums for Retiree 80/20 and Medicare Advantage will remain the same for 2019.
  3. 2018 premiums for the Retiree Pre-Medicare (RPHP) health plan will increase slightly for 2019
  4. It is important to read the contents of the mailing for any reminders or deadlines.
  5. It is also important to review your expected health care needs in 2019.
  6. If you do not wish to make any changes in your health care coverage for 2019, YOU NEED TO DO NOTHING!
The AETNA Retiree Service Center is available to discuss your health care needs, your premiums and billing, or any questions you may have on claims and reimbursements. 

Contact the Retiree Service Center
1-800-338-4533 (TTY: 711)
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, Monday – Friday
Open Enrollment Sessions
No registration required

Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Aetna & Cornell Representatives Present
  • 9:00-10:00 am, Kendal at Ithaca Auditorium- 2230 N. Triphammer Rd., Ithaca
  • 1:00-2:00 pm, East Hill Office Building - Room 140, 395 Pine Tree Road, Ithaca
  • 3:00-4:00 pm, East Hill Office Building - Room 140, 395 Pine Tree Road, Ithaca

Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Aetna & Cornell Benefits Representatives Present
  • 1:00-2:00 pm, East Hill Office Building - Room 140, 395 Pine Tree Road, Ithaca
  • 3:00-4:00 pm, East Hill Office Building - Room 140, 395 Pine Tree Road, Ithaca

Friday, October 26, 2018
Cornell Benefits Representatives Only
  • 10:30-11:30 am, East Hill Office Building - Room 140, 395 Pine Tree Road, Ithaca
  • 1:30-2:30 pm, East Hill Office Building - Room 140, 395 Pine Tree Road, Ithaca
If you are thinking that about your plan options for 2019...
Factors to consider when choosing ANY health care plan:
What plan/coverage does your doctor accept?
Are they in-network with Aetna? Do they accept Medicare? Do they participate with any Medicare Advantage plans?
What are your typical medical and Rx needs and how will each plan cover them?
How does the plan handle out-of-pocket costs? Are there co-payments or deductibles? Are there any maximums on what you or the plan will pay? Are your current prescriptions included in the plan? Are generics required?
How much will you pay in monthly premium vs. how much will you pay when you have a service?
Will you travel or reside outside New York State or travel/reside internationally?
You should always check coverage prior to travel, if you plan to spend time outside of New York, or if you travel internationally. Remember: Original Medicare doesn’t cover international health care. There are varying levels of international coverage with the Retiree 80/20 and Medicare Advantage plans you have through Cornell.

Campus Events
Concerned About Parking?
Come Share Your Thoughts!

Wednesday, October 24th
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Frank HT Rhodes Hall, Room 310

Cornell is conducting a campus-wide Open House to gather input from the campus community that will inform the Cornell University Parking Optimization Study.

The workshop is an "open house" format, so feel free to arrive at any time that is convenient to you. There will be interactive activities that will allow you to share your thoughts regarding campus parking and circulation.

The intention of the study is to analyze and assess the parking conditions on the campus and develop strategies for improving the system for all users.

Unable to attend? Send written comments to:
The 2018 CAPE Fall Lecture Series
November 15, 10:30-11:30am (arrive any time after 10am for refreshments)
BTI Auditorium
Isaac Kramnick, Government and Laurence Moore, History
Godless Citizens In a Godly Republic
God occupies our nation’s consciousness, even defining to many what it means to be American. Nonbelievers have often had second-class legal status and have had to fight for their rights as citizens. R. Laurence Moore (History Department, Emeritus) and Isaac Kramnick (Government Department, Emeritus) will talk about the historical and contemporary place of atheists in American public life, which they explore in their recent book, “ Godless Citizens in a Godly Republic .”
Bound for Glory Fall Schedule Continues
The 52nd season of “ Bound for Glory, ” concerts in Anabel Taylor Hall’s Durland Alternatives Library, continues on October 28— Mac Benford and UpSouth.  If some scholar writes a history of the Old Timey revival in this country, there will be a chapter on Mac Benford. This band is fun. There are songs and tunes, old and not so old, and a bunch of players and singers who make this music work, and work well. Good times. They’ll get your feet tapping.

The program, hosted since 1967 by Phil Shapiro, M.A. ’69, features three sets of music starting at 8 pm and is broadcast live on WVBR-FM 93.5 and streams online at .
Keep the Flu at Bay
It's not too late to get your flu shot!

New this year, Cornell Health is partnering with Wegmans Pharmacy to provide vaccinations at the Cornell clinics. As always, vaccinations are free for staff, faculty and retirees (don’t forget to bring your Cornell ID card).

Remaining clinic dates:

  • Tuesday, November 6, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, Cornell Benefair, Biotech Atrium

  • Friday, November 9, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, Willard Straight Hall, Memorial Room

  • Thursday, December 6, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, Geneva Benefits Fair

Regular-dose flu shots will be available, as well as high dose for those age 65 and older. FluMist nasal spray will not be available at this year’s vaccine clinics.
Caregiver Support & Education Network
Caregivers come together to share the challenges, joys and resources of caregiving as well as listen to occasional speakers presenting on topics of interest. Facilitators share strategies, tools, and resources for coping with stress, caregiver guilt, and burnout as well as information on local/national resources that may assist you. 

Feel free to bring your lunch to any of these meetings. For questions or for more information, contact Diane Bradac, or 607-255-1917.
Group support meetings are held on campus in Weill Hall,
Room 221 on Thursdays from 12:00-1:00 pm on:
November 15, 2018
December 13, 2018
Cornell Cooperative Extension
6th Annual Nut Bonanza & Tree Sale
Saturday, November 10, 2018
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Twisted Tree Farm

Come out to  Twisted Tree Farm  in Spencer for this family-friendly event that celebrates the nut harvest. There will be roasting and cracking of nuts all day, talking about trees, and tasting things like American persimmons, acorns, chestnuts, hickory nuts, butternuts, hazelnuts, and black walnuts. Special guests include Sam Thayer (Author of  The Forager's Harvest ) and Sean Dembrosky of  Edible Acres .

This event is held outside with a bonfire, with covered space in case of rain. Stations will be set up for attendees to experience everything from roasting chestnuts to pressing walnut oil. Kids are welcome!
Please park along the road, carpooling is encouraged.

Suggested donation of $5-$20 or bring a local food to share.
Community Events
Science on Tap - "What's the Harm in Opposing GMOs?"
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
7:00 pm
Northstar House's Casita Del Polaris (1201 North Tioga Street)

Five international panelists from Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa who are involved in leading a global network for science and agriculture will share their perspectives on how the U.S.'s opinions on GMO’s have a global societal impact.

Designed to connect the Ithaca community with Cornell faculty, "Science on Tap" is aimed to appeal to all audiences where folks interact with scientists and learn about the latest and greatest research going on just up the hill and how it relates to real world issues. From physics to psychology, engage with experts in a variety of fields in the physical and social sciences to learn about interesting cutting edge research that's happening in your community and how it relates to you!

So, come grab a drink, sit back, relax, get informed and join us in talking science! Free admission!
Montezuma Audobon Center
The Montezuma Audubon Center’s autumn programs are a great way to connect with Montezuma’s birds and spend time with friends and family. We will help you experience the millions of waterfowl, shorebirds, songbirds and birds of prey that migrate through the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. Space is limited and registration is required for all programs. Call 315-365-3588 or e-mail .
Nov. 3, Saturday 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Cayuga Lake Wine and Wings Tour
Cayuga Lake is an Audubon designated Important Bird Area because of the incredible number of waterfowl that use the lake during the migration and winter seasons. Hop in our van for an excursion to the north end of the lake where up to 30 species of ducks, geese and swans can be seen. During the tour, we’ll stop at Apple Station Winery for wine tastings and learn how agriculture and wildlife thrive side by side. Binoculars and field guides will be provided. Must be 21+. Fee: $20/adult, includes wine tasting fees. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.

Nov. 17, Saturday 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Photography Workshop & Tour led by Zaphir Shamma.
Ever wonder how to take the best picture with your camera? No camera is too big or small to take the perfect picture! Join us for a traveling photography class led by Western NY wildlife photographer Zaphir Shamma. The class will begin with a presentation about birding in the Montezuma Wetlands Complex and the fundamentals of photography. Then, we’ll travel around the Montezuma Wetlands Complex exploring the birding hot spots while receiving expert photography advice. Fee: $50/person.  PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED .  
Talking about death won’t kill you
It can help you make informed decisions about end-of-life plans for yourself and others.
Many people die in ways inconsistent with their values and wishes. Planning ahead provides an opportunity to think about and communicate what you do and don’t want at the end of life. 
Join us—Saturday, November 3, 2:00-4:00 pm, The Space@Greenstar, 700 W. Buffalo Street, Ithaca (enter on Court St. at N. Fulton)—to develop the practical know-how needed to plan well for the end of life. The format is open, so drop by for a few minutes or stay for two hours.
Staff from local organizations can help you explore: 
  • advance directives: health care proxies & living wills
  • accessing palliative care
  • hospice care
  • wills & trusts
  • organ donation
  • funeral planning
  • green burial
Brought to you by The Art of Dying Well, Cayuga Medical Center, Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network, Funeral Consumers Alliance of the Finger Lakes, Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve, Hospicare, Human Services Coalition, Ithaca College Gerontology Institute, Visiting Nurse Service of Ithaca
If you have questions or want more information, please contact Angela Mennitto (607) 272-0236,
John G. Ullman & Associates Foundation, Inc.
Family Connection Series
Sunday, November 11, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.
General Admission Tickets: $20.
Processing and facility maintenance fees apply. 
Military, Youth, and Group Discounts available – please inquire
For tickets, call 607-734-8191 or 800-724-0159; or…
“Timely Engaging Relevant Memorable”
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, LETTERS HOME is a critically lauded production that, without politicizing, puts the soldier experience in Iraq and Afghanistan front and center by bringing to life actual war letters written home by soldiers serving in the Middle East.

The production uses minimal props and set pieces to dramatize the letters. It employs the use of images and video projected behind the actors as they perform the letters as dramatic monologues. The photos and video used in the production are taken directly from actual soldiers’ blogs, Facebook and Twitter. To enhance the theatrical experience of the play all performances are followed by a post-play discussion.

The Clemens Center is currently soliciting examples of letters and photos from military families to be featured in the program book. Many folks have an old footlocker in the attic or garage filled with correspondence that tells the true human story behind conflict abroad and the emotional separation from loved ones at home that takes place. We know these letters will spark conversation and, hopefully, a better understanding of the enormous sacrifice given by all members of military families.

Letters Home is recommended for ages 13 and up when accompanied by an adult.
Employment & Volunteer Opportunities
The Paleontological Research Institution is in search of volunteers to help us increase and disseminate knowledge of the history of life on earth. Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Patrick Branigan at to schedule an orientation session for these or other potential opportunities:
Volunteer Research Assistant (Ongoing through May 2019):
Description:   Our research staff seek volunteers to assist with preparing, sorting, and measuring oyster samples. This project will help to monitor changes in populations of oysters from the Florida coastline, as part of our developing research in conservation paleobiology.
Availability:  Monday through Friday between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm. Volunteers should be prepared for approximately one five-hour shift per week. This project will conclude in May of 2019, at which point new volunteer opportunities may be available for those interested in continuing to be engaged in our Collections department.
KDT Education Docent (Ongoing):
Description:  Our Museum Education Staff seeks volunteers to assist with our Kids Discover the Trail programming at the Museum of the Earth. Volunteers should have an interest in facilitating programs for first grade students visiting the Museum from throughout Tompkins County. Specialized knowledge of geology or paleontology is appreciated, but not required. Our staff will provide all necessary training for planned activities.
Availability:  KDT Volunteers should be available on a weekday morning for an approximately 4 hour shift between 9:30 am and 1:30 pm. These programs will be offered to first grade students beginning early 2019. Training sessions will occur the second Wednesday of every month until programs begin, from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.
Teacher Friendly Guide to Climate Change Volunteers (Ongoing):
Description:  There is an urgent need to strengthen Climate Change education, and our staff are doing all we can! We are currently distributing our Teacher Friendly Guide to Climate Change  to every public school in the country (and for free!), and seek volunteers to assist with the distribution process. We will need help coordinating contents, packing envelopes, and distributing packages.
Availability:  Shifts are flexible, but are preferred Monday through Friday between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm. Volunteers should plan for an approximately 2 hour shift.
Temporary Service Clerk (Part-Time)—Chemistry and Chemical Biology Dept.
The Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department is looking for a Temporary employee to provide customer support in our stockroom. This appointment will be for 10 hours per week with the potential for additional hours based on business coverage needs. Will be interacting with students, faculty, staff, vendors, sales and delivery personnel, and customers throughout the day to support a welcoming service-oriented environment. Responsibilities include: maintain preset inventory levels and replenish inventory; stock and face shelving daily; dust and sweep weekly as necessary; assist in maintaining files and records; receive incoming shipments from UPS, FedEx, FedEx Ground, campus, local deliveries and common carriers; check packing slips for accuracy noting any discrepancies when matching receipts; maintain general organization of stockroom and storage areas; generate barcodes and label all incoming chemicals, tanks, and cylinders; and maintain petty cash box for all cash sales.

Please send resume and references to: Sharon Van De Mark, , 120 Baker Laboratory, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.
Volunteer with the Advocacy Center of Tompkins
Want to make a difference in someone's life? Become a Hotline Volunteer!
Hotline Volunteers  help staff our 24-hour hotline and provide crisis counseling advocacy, support, and referrals to adult and youth victims of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse. Advocates are required to make a minimum one-year commitment that includes four hotline shifts per month. Comprehensive training is provided; the next training will run from late January through early March 2019. Click here to fill out our Hotline Volunteer Application.
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