Volume 32 | April 20, 2020
April 2020 Newsletter
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In this Edition:
  • FAQs Coming Soon
  • About the CareCounsel Advocacy Program
  • Be Aware of Coronavirus-Related Scams
  • 2020 COLA Tracker
  • March 2020 Investment Results
  • March 18, 2020 Board of Retirement Meeting Highlights
  • April 22, 2020 Board of Retirement Meeting Agenda
  • RESBC Membership Information
FAQs Coming Soon
We have received your questions regarding COVID-19 and SBCERS retirement accounts. Thank you for participating! We are compiling a list of answers that will be released soon, as well as information regarding SBCERS' investment portfolio.

If you have a question specific to your account, please email benefits@sbcers.org for assistance. If you haven't already, sign up for mySBCERS online portal to view your account summary , beneficiary information, and member statement.
About the CareCounsel Advocacy Program
CareCounsel, an independent organization that is not part of your health plan, is a benefits advocacy program that can help you navigate the complexities of your benefits plan. In 2019, nearly 22% of eligible SBCERS members used CareCounsel for assistance.

Assistance Topics

39% of all requests for assistance in 2019 were about Benefits & Coverage. 22% of requests were for claim assistance, claim processing, and credit collections. Enrollment Support made up 19% of the requests. Other assistance topics include access to care, eligibility, authorizations, appeals, grievances, and healthcare resources.
Popular Benefits and Enrollment Discussion Topics

Some of the most popular Benefits and Enrollment topics include coverage, Medicare, as well as questions regarding provider networks, copays, and coinsurance.
Duration to Resolution

CareCounsel can help retirees and their dependents save time dealing with healthcare issues. There are many times CareCounsel needs to speak with multiple parties, such as providers, billers, or carriers for resolution, which means members can rest easy while CareCounsel does the work. In fact, 93% of survey participants would agree that Member Care Services helped them navigate health care issues more effectively. 
CareCounsel is available to retirees to relieve the stress of health care complications so they can concentrate their efforts elsewhere.

Care Counselors can answer benefits questions, guide you to the appropriate resources, and intervene on your behalf until your issue or problem is resolved. This program is free and completely confidential.
95% of survey participants would recommend this service to others.
Contact CareCounsel at 1-888-227-3334 to connect with no-cost healthcare resources or email staff@carecounsel.com Monday through Friday from 6:30 am to 5:00 pm PST. After hours, you can leave a message and they will get back to you the next business day. You can visit their website www.carecounsel.com at any time.
Be Aware of Coronavirus-Related Scams
Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security, reminds the public that Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit payments will continue to be paid on time during the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency also reminds everyone to be aware of scammers who try to take advantage of the pandemic to trick people into providing personal information or payment via retail gift cards, wire transfers, internet currency, or by mailing cash, to maintain Social Security benefit payments or receive economic impact payments from the Department of the Treasury.

Click HERE to read the full press release.

The IRS also reminds the public to be on the lookout for IRS impersonation calls, texts and email phishing attempts about COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments. These scams can lead to tax-related fraud and identity theft.

Click HERE to read the full press release.
2020 COLA Tracker
For March 2020, Los Angeles Area Inflation (year over year) was 1.95%.

Click  HERE   or on the chart above to see monthly inflation figures compared to last year. 

Want to track the COLA on your own? On the 15th of each month, the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor statistics releases CPI data for Los Angeles. Click   HERE   to read the current Bureau of Labor Statistics report. 
March 2020 Investment Results
The Total Fund returned -8.31% for the month of March net of fees. For the current fiscal year through March 31, 2020, the portfolio has returned -7.04%, experiencing a loss of approximately $218 million.

Click HERE to read the full March 2020 Investment Flash Report.
March 18, 2020 Board of Retirement Meeting Highlights
At the Board of Retirement's March 18, 2020 meeting, CEO Greg Levin presented the SBCERS COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response. The Board received a q uarterly private real estate report and annual strategic plan from ORG Portfolio Management. The Board also received a monthly investment review and private credit pacing study from RVK, Inc, as well as a presentation on economic implications from COVID-19.

Draft minutes for the March 18, 2020 regular Board of Retirement meeting can be found HERE .
April 22, 2020 Board of Retirement Meeting Agenda Available
The next Regular Board of Retirement meeting will be held remotely on April 22, 2020. The meeting will be live streamed via YouTube at https://youtu.be/7SbeJBcO-8c . Members of the public who would like to make a public comment may email clerkoftheboard@sbcers.org for instructions on how to do so remotely.

Click HERE to access the agenda and board m aterials on our agenda management website.   

RESBC is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of county retirees by providing information on critical retirement issues and offering educational/cultural social opportunities. Membership in RESBC is $2.50 monthly. Dues are deducted from the member’s Santa Barbara County pension payment. County employees may join RESBC by completing the RESBC Membership Deduction Authorization form at the time of their retirement exit conference.

Retirees may join at any time by requesting a membership form from SBCERS, 3916 State Street, Suite 100 Santa Barbara, CA 93105, 1-877-568-2940 or, by clicking HERE  and sending the completed form to benefits@sbcers.org .  

RESBC Membership benefits include:
  • 4 issues of the RESBC newsletter per year
  • 4 subsidized luncheon meetings per year held at various county locations
  • Opportunities to participate in subsidized day trips and special events
  • Attendance at special presentations on critical issues such as health insurance, pension litigation, pension-related court decisions, etc
  • Opportunity to socialize and have fun with former co-workers and friends
Have a question about an item in this newsletter?

Call a Benefit Representative at 1-877-568-2940. We are ready to help you!
Want to look at prior Newsletters?

Click HERE to visit the SBCERS Newsletter Archive.