Palmetto GBA: A reminder on annual wellness visits for retirees

Medicare pays for an Annual Wellness Visit (AWV). It’s an awesome free preventive service that so many Medicare patients have not been taking advantage of. Since the onset of COVID-19, the number of AWVs being performed has fallen drastically, as many people have chosen to put off elective services. However, it’s important for you to […]

CDC order requires masks on all public transportation to slow COVID’s spread

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order Jan. 29 imposing a mask requirement applicable to public transportation systems, rail, and van, bus and motorcoach service providers to mitigate the risk of the spread of COVID-19. The order implements President Joe Biden’s Executive Order 13998, Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International […]

VSTD waiver of elimination period extended through February 2021

The SMART Voluntary Short Term Disability Plan (VSTD) has temporarily suspended the elimination period for COVID-19 disabilities. Previously, the waiver of the elimination period began in the month of March and extended through May of this year and then was once again extended until November 2020. SMART, in conjunction with Southern Benefit Administrators, is pleased […]

ERMA lifetime maximum benefit to increase in 2021

The lifetime maximum benefit for the Railroad Employees National Early Retirement Major Medical Benefit (ERMA or GA-46000) Plan will increase from $171,100 to $175,700 beginning Jan. 1, 2021. At the end of 2001, labor and management had agreed on various procedures to administer the annual changes in the amount of the lifetime maximum benefit under […]

Releases from RRB: Q&A about the effect of private rail pensions; Medicare Part B premiums for 2021

Private rail pensions may reduce supplemental annuities Railroad Retirement beneficiaries are reminded that receipt of a private railroad pension may reduce the amount of a supplemental annuity payable by the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). The following questions and answers provide information on this subject and how 401(k) plans are affected by the Railroad Retirement Act […]

RRB: Sequestration hits unemployment and sickness benefits

Railroad Unemployment and Sickness Benefits Will See Slight Decrease in New Sequestration Reduction Rate Under the Budget Control Act of 2011, and a subsequent sequestration order to implement mandated cuts, railroad unemployment and sickness insurance benefits are reduced by a set percentage that is subject to revision at the beginning of each fiscal year. Starting […]

Palmetto GBA: Medicare telehealth coverage expands

Telehealth is a Medicare-approved healthcare service between a provider and a patient via a telecommunication system (such as by phone or video chat). It’s been a covered service for more than a decade, focusing on rural areas where appropriate care may be hard to come by. Patients would be “seen” via a communications medium at […]

United Rail Unions sue to block carriers from modifying Healthcare benefits without bargaining

Washington, D.C. (Aug. 7, 2020) — On August 5, 2020, 12 rail unions whose members and their families are covered by the NRC/UTU Plan and the Railroad Employees National Health and Welfare Plan filed suit against the nation’s Class I railroad carriers in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The suit […]

RRB Q&A: Unemployment and Sickness Benefits for Railroad Employees

The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) administers the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (RUIA), which provides two kinds of benefits for qualified railroaders: unemployment benefits for those who become unemployed but are ready, willing, and able to work; and sickness benefits for those who are unable to work because of sickness or injury. Sickness benefits are also […]