Volume 37 | September 22, 2020
September 2020 Newsletter
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In this Edition:
  • Insurance Postcards from Agencies Similar in Name, but Completely UNRELATED to, SBCERS or RESBC
  • 2021 Open Enrollment: October 1-31, 2020
  • Alameda Case Updates from SBCERS are Available Online
  • Board of Retirement Election: General, Retired, and Alternate Retired Members of the Board of Retirement
  • 2020 COLA Tracker
  • August 2020 Investment Results
  • August 26, 2020 Board of Retirement Meeting Highlights
  • September 23, 2020 Board of Retirement Meeting Agenda Available
  • CareCounsel Information
  • RESBC Membership Information
Insurance Postcards from Agencies Similar in Name, but Completely UNRELATED to, SBCERS or RESBC
We’ve been getting calls from a number of retirees who are worried, having received the postcard below. We want to be sure our retirees understand that this postcard did not come from SBCERS, and has nothing to do with the SBCERS Retiree Open Enrollment, which will occur from October 1 to October 31, 2020. Open Enrollment books will be mailed at the end of September, and our Virtual Open Enrollment fair will be online the week of October 19 – 25, 2020.

Also, it’s important to remember that the SBCERS Open Enrollment is a passive open enrollment: if you are not making a change to your benefits, they will continue into the new year, no action is required. All current insurance selections continue into the new year, at the new rates for 2021 unless we receive a cancellation or change form. 
The postcard pictured below is NOT from SBCERS or RESBC.
2021 Open Enrollment: October 1-31, 2020
2021 Open Enrollment is coming! Here is the important information for you to know:
Are rates increasing?
  • Blue Shield Medical Plans and Kaiser Plan premiums will increase 5.3%.
  • The County has added a new Blue Shield Narrow Network PPO Plan as an addition to existing Blue Shield plans.
  • United Healthcare will decrease 6%.
  • Dental HMO Plan rates will remain the same and Dental PPO Plan rates will decrease 2.1%.
  • Vision rates remain the same.
  • CareCounsel rates remain the same.
  • Last year’s new addition, the prescription drug program for early retirees enrolled in Blue Shield medical plans, Rx n’ Go, continues to be offered.
What if I am not making any changes for 2021?
SBCERS will automatically continue your current coverage into 2021 at the new rates. You do not have to submit any forms or contact SBCERS, and your benefits will remain the same.
When are the Open Enrollment Meetings?
This year, Open Enrollment meetings will take place in the Virtual Health Fair from October 19th through October 25th. A link to join will be posted to: https://www.sbcers.org/retired-members/open-enrollment/2021-open-enrollment/.

When will Open Enrollment booklets and forms be available?
Open Enrollment booklets will be mailed at the end of September. Booklets will be available online on September 28th, and forms available on October 1st, at https://www.sbcers.org/retired-members/open-enrollment/2021-open-enrollment/
Alameda Case Updates from SBCERS are Available Online
On July 30, 2020, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Alameda County Deputy Sheriffs’ Assoc. v. Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Association (the Alameda Decision). A Member Advisory has been posted to: https://www.sbcers.org/resources/alameda-case-updates/member-advisory-concerning-stand-by-pay/.

Any updates regarding SBCERS response to the Alameda Case will be posted at on SBCERS' dedicated webpage: https://www.sbcers.org/resources/alameda-case-updates/.

The Board of Retirement will hear an informational item at the September 23, 2020 meeting, time certain of 12:10 p.m. The item will be recorded and posted to the Alameda Case Update page linked above. To watch the item live*, please tune in a few minutes early to:

*Note there is about a 30-to-60-second time lag between the Zoom meeting and YouTube live stream.
Board of Retirement Election: General, Retired, and Alternate Retired Members of the Board of Retirement
An election is being held September 8 – September 29, 2020, to select a General Member for the Board of Retirement. Incumbent Retired Member Zandra Cholmondeley and Incumbent Alternate Retired Member Gary Blair are running unopposed, therefore no ballot was mailed to Retirees. Instead, SBCERS will request the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors to cast unanimous ballots in favor of Trustee Cholmondeley and Trustee Blair in October.

Ballots for the General Member election have been mailed to Active General Members and must be returned via USPS by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 29, 2020. If you did not receive a ballot or need a replacement ballot, please contact the Clerk of the Board of Retirement at clerkoftheboard@sbcers.org.

The in-person count will take place at SBCERS' Santa Barbara office on Wednesday, September 30 at 1:30 p.m.

For questions regarding Board of Retirement elections, please email clerkoftheboard@sbcers.org.
2020 COLA Tracker
For August 2020, Los Angeles Area Inflation (year over year) was 2.02%.

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. 
August 2020 Investment Results
The Total Fund returned 2.98% for the month of August net of fees. For the current fiscal year through August 31, 2020, the portfolio has returned 6.54%, generating about $203 million for members and their beneficiaries.

Click HERE to read the full August 2020 Investment Flash Report.
August 26, 2020 Board of Retirement Meeting Highlights
At the Board of Retirement's August 26, 2020 meeting, the Board the Board received quarterly Public Markets, Private Equity, Private Real Return, and Private Real Estate reports. The Board also approved the 2021 Board of Retirement meeting schedule and authorized the CEO to enter into a written agreement with Frank Schipper Construction Company for Pre-Construction Services for the renovation of the SBCERS building located at 130 Robin Hill Road, Goleta Ca, 93117.

Draft minutes for the August 26, 2020 regular Board of Retirement meeting can be found HERE.
September 23, 2020 Board of Retirement Meeting Agenda Available
The next Regular Board of Retirement meetings will be held remotely on September 23, 2020. You can watch the meeting via YouTube live stream at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC737ZNPI2eSJPcQlA5HfaNw/live.

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 materials on our agenda management website.  
Want help with your Health Care Inquiries and Concerns?

Looking for a stress-free solution to your healthcare inquiries and, or concerns? CareCounsel is our health advocacy partner and is a service offered as part of your benefit package. CareCounsel works independently from your insurance carrier and is a completely confidential resource. 

It’s easy, call: (888-227-3334), or email staff@carecounsel.com Monday through Friday 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.

A few examples of why you should contact CareCounsel:
  • Education
  • Making Sense of Medicare
  • Benefits and Coverage Questions
  • Claims and Billing Assistance
  • Eligibility Status
  • Quality Concerns
  • Grievances and Appeals
  • Assistance with Locating Healthcare Providers

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, 130 Robin Hill Road, Suite 100, Goleta, CA 93117, 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.