the Hot Sheet
Washington State Retired Deputy Sheriffs and Police Officers Association
P.O. Box 1805, Sumner, WA 98390
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.wsrdspoa.org
May / June – 2014
Joe Dawson, King Co SO
West: Ralph Waddle, King Co SO
East: Don McCabe, Spokane Co SO
Joyce Dawson, King County
Tina Waddle, King County
West Members At Large:
Ron Johnston, Tukwila P.D.
Doug Partlow, Tukwila P.D.
Gary Lentz, Clark Co SO
East Members At Large:
Mike Clements, Richland PD
Diane Erickson, Spokane Co SO
Stan Reider, Lincoln County SO
Puget Sound Area
2nd Tuesday of the Month
Black Bear Diner
32065 Pacific Hwy S.
Retired Sheriff Deputies,
Employees and Spouses Association
1st Monday of each month 11:30 am at Darcy’s Restaurant 10502 E Sprague Ave. Spokane Valley, WA
I hope everyone is ready for the 2014 Convention. Our committee is working hard to make sure you have an enjoyable time. There will be a schedule in this issue of the Hot Sheet.
I cannot personally be at this year’s convention. I will be on the East Coast of Canada, a trip that we have been scheduling and delaying for the last five years. It’s now or never.
Although there hasn’t been an attempt on our retirement system or health benefit system at the state level, there has been some resistance by local governments attempting to avoid payments. Under the RCW if the local Disability Board approves the payment or treatment employers are obligated to pay. If the Disability Board does not approve a payment or treatment, the LEOFF 1 member can schedule to present his claim in person at the next meeting of the board for reconsideration.
There’s something we need to remember when speaking with the legislature. Our health system and our pension system are two separate parts of the retirement law. Your health system is funded by your employer and the pension system is paid through the Department of Retirement Systems. Keep this in mind when discussing either program.
I am including an older article by Joe Fischnaller in this issue. This article will explain more than I could ever articulate about our LEOFF 1 Medical Benefits. Joe made this presentation to the Retired Firefighters of Washington several years ago and it is still current information. It is important for you to understand how this system works. There is more of a squeeze on funds in government and many employers are trying to deny medical benefits. Please read the article and save it for a reference.
Also this is the last year that I will be serving as your Association President. It’s been enjoyable having the opportunity meeting the members over the years. I served as the Secretary starting in 1996 and then terms as the President. At the same time I edited the Hot Sheet at first with Walt Trefry and since his death by myself. This is not an easy task but enjoyable. I will be stepping away from this job also but will attempt to help when I can. Joyce, my wife and your Secretary will also be stepping away. I never could have continued with this without Joyce (the real boss around here.)
I’d like you all to know that it has been a pleasure to work for you but it is time for someone with another perspective to make this association grow. I plan on being involved as much as I can.
Your LEOFF I Healthcare Benefits
What Are They And Who Decides
By Joe Fischnaller
I think that we would all agree that Plan 1 of the Washington Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters Benefit Act (LEOFF I) is a great benefit system. It provides LEOFF I members with a whole host of specific benefits which are unequaled, either in the private sector, or in other public employment.
After pensions, perhaps the most important aspect of your LEOFF I benefit package is the comprehensive medical benefit that the Act provides for members. The purpose of this article is to help you understand exactly what your healthcare benefits are, and how to be sure that you are receiving everything you are entitled to. Before we begin, however, let me just say that in recent years, your LEOFF I benefits have come under attack on a number of fronts. If it had not been for the generous financial support and assistance of the Retired Fire Fighters of Washington (RFFOW) and similar organizations, you might well not have the same right to healthcare benefits that you enjoy today. RFFOW has, over many years, provided funding and much needed support for several important lawsuits which have served to defend and even strengthen your healthcare benefits under LEOFF I.
With that said, let’s talk about how you can find out exactly what healthcare benefits you are entitled to and be certain that you are receiving all of the healthcare services to which you are entitled by virtue of your years of faithful service.
As a LEOFF I member, you are entitled to two broad kinds of medical services. I like to refer to these two general categories of medical services as Mandatory medical services and Optional medical services. RCW 41.26.030(19), a portion of the LEOFF Act, sets forth a detailed list of medical services which the statute says are the “minimum services” that must be provided for all LEOFF I members and paid for by their employers or former employers. These “minimum services” are what I call the Mandatory medical services, because you have an absolute right to any of these services that you need.
In addition to these Mandatory medical services, you are also entitled to certain additional medical services, over and above those set out in RCW 41.26.030(19). I call these additional healthcare services Optional because your Disability Board has the option of either allowing of denying your access to these additional services, and may choose to place various restrictions on your use of or access to such additional medical services. Your local Disability Board has the authority to control access to these additional medical services by virtue of RCW 41.26.150(1)(b), which gives these boards the power to “designate the medical services available” to a member. These Disability Boards do not have the power to refuse you any of the medical services listed in RCW 41.26.030(19) as long as you need the service in question. They may, however, designate additional medical services that are available to you.
Many Disability Boards provide comprehensive dental, vision, hearing, and other healthcare programs that might not be available without the Board’s exercise of its discretion to make such services available to the members under their jurisdiction. So, how do you insure that you are getting all of the healthcare benefits to which you are entitled? It is very simple. First, you should obtain a copy of RCW 41.26.030(19), and read it to familiarize yourself with exactly which medical services are Mandatory and must be provided to you and paid for by your present or previous LEOFF I employer. Then contact your Disability Board, and ask that they provide you with a copy of the Board’s Rules and Regulations. Note that your Board may call this document by another name; but it is the document that contains the policies and procedures of the Board.
With only these two documents, RCW 41.26.030(19) and your Board’s Rules and Regulations, you should be able to gain a very good understanding of the exact nature and extent of the healthcare benefits provided for you by the LEOFF Act. You should also be aware that, if your Disability Board approves a medical bill, and your employer fails or refuses to pay the bill or reimburse you for it, you have a right to sue the employer and recover not only the amount of the bill, but your attorney’s fees, as well.
In the event that you have specific questions about any aspect of the LEOFF law, whether dealing with healthcare benefits or any other issue, you may call me, Joe Fischnaller
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joe Fischnaller is an attorney who has successfully handled literally thousands of LEOFF related cases, and is responsible for most of the favorable Court of Appeals and Supreme Court decisions in this area of the law. He is no doubt, the most experienced LEOFF I attorney in Washington. He can be reached at (206-930-1818 and I will be glad to answer any questions you may have.
Spread The Word
Website Improvement Update
Our webmaster and Vice President informs us that he has had a two hour training class on the new website software. Once the software is online, members are to go to the website and enter their email address and click on “lost password”. The website will send the member a temporary password so they can log on. Then go to “Profile” and change their “Username” and “Password”. Our technician used the existing email addresses for everyone that had an email address. That may cause a problem for some. New members will be added manually.
NOMINATIONS ARE OPEN FOR WSRDSPOA POSITIONS
Contact the Nominations Committee Members Clyde Ries or Stan Reider
GOOD TAX INFORMATION
Many retirees have their insurance costs deducted from their pension checks because it is tax deductible up to $3000.00 or in our case $6000.00 because I am LEOFF 1 and don’t buy insurance so my wife Leanne can use my allowance toward hers.
For the second time in as many years we’ve been audited by the IRS. The first time we were cleared after we sent the instructions provided by the LEOFF Board every year. We just received the second audit notice yesterday so we called the IRS to find out why they keep disallowing this and making us provide them with their own instructions.
What we learned is that if you file electronically, the form describing this deduction is never seen, and therefore to the computer it looks like you are under-reporting your income amount deducted.
So, would you please put out to all retirees that if they take this deduction, do not file electronically? According to the IRS, we must file snail mail so that all of the necessary paperwork accompanies our return.
Dean Shirey, Retired Seattle P.D.
COLUMBIA SUN RV PARK
103907 WISER PARKWAY
TOLL FREE (855) 833-3886
September 4th – Thursday
Golf – Contact John Beard (See article below)
1800 Pot Luck Dinner in the RV Park even center
September 5th -Friday
0800 Coffee and Donuts
0900 General Membership Meeting
1200 Men’s Luncheon at the Country Gentleman
1200 Ladies Luncheon(TBD)
Local Vineyard Tour following Luncheon. A caravan will be led by Doug Partlow. An announcement will be made at the Membership meeting.
1730 Convention Banquet. The Canyon Lakes Golf Club Banquet Room.
3700 Canyon Lakes Drive, Kennewick, WA 509-582-3736
Kennewick Police Chief will speak following dinner.
September 6th Saturday
0900 Executive Board Meeting.
WSRDSPOA CONVENTION GOLF
John Beard, the Convention Golf Coordinator, informs us all that there will be nine holes of tournament golf played this year. This is an effort to attract more participants. For those that wish to play eighteen holes you may continue on after the first nine. If there are not enough members to hold a tournament, players will just enjoy the game. Please contact John at (509) 932-4081 or email@example.com before Sept. 4 for Tee Time and location.
There are accommodations nearby for those not planning to stay in a Recreational Vehicle.
Richland Holiday Inn Express 1970 Center Parkway, Richland, WA. (509) 737-8000 Contact Person is Heather Sheets. Our members have found that you can deal with a person at the Richland Holiday Express easier that going through the national number for a more personal experience. Explain that you are with “Old Cops” and that you would like the government rate which is shown to be $90 – $114 per night. Please reserve in advance
Kennewick Super 8 626 North Columbia Center Blvd, Kennewick, WA. (509) 736-6888 Rates from About $62.23. Please Reserve in Advance for an additional 15% discount from their Government rate. Mention that you are with “Old Cops”
AROUND THE BEAT