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PURA News - March 2017

PURA 2020 Task Force Proposes By-Law Changes

Purposeful Living in Retirement Conference: Program & Registration Information

Nursing Center for Family Health (NCFH) Offers Wellness Screenings and Swallow Evaluations

Health Insurance News:
Voluntary Preventive Retiree Dental Plan for Retirees Over Age 65: 2017
PURA Benefits Committee Approves a Preventive Dental Plan for 2017
Purdue University Retirees Association Health Insurance Plans
   Renewed for 2017 With Lower or Flat Premiums for Most Members

Insurance Assistance to Official Retirees Under Age 65 Now Available


West Lafayette School Superintendent Speaks at February PURA Meeting
PURA Student Scholarship Endowment Over Half-way to $50,000 Pledge
Winter Health Tip: STAY HYDRATED

Mark your Calendars!  Upcoming Events

24 Mach Spring 2017 Common Read Discussion, StewartCenter, HSSE Library, Purdue Archives on the fourth floor (elevator available), 3-5 pm
    Topic:  Slow Ball Cartoonist, by Tony Garel-Franzen
    Facilitator: Nick Schenkel, W. Lafayette Public Library

3 April PURA Mnthly Meeting, MCL Cafeteria, 11:00 AM
    Topic:  100 Years of Indiana State Parks
    Speaker:  Benjamin Clark, Historic Preservation Officer, Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources

19 April Purposeful Living In Retirement conference, Beck Agricultural Center, U.S. 52 North

26 April Purdue Day of Giving

1 May PURA Monthly Meeting, MCL Cafeteria, 11:00 AM
    Topic:  Introduction to Purdue's New Athletic Director
    Speaker:  Mike Bobinski, Athletic Director

25 May Spring Fling, Purdue campus, details available later

5 June PURA Monthly Meeting, MCL Cafeteria, 11:00 AM
    Topic:  What is Virtual Reality and How Can It Be Used?
    Speaker:  Laura Theademan and George Takahashi

3 July PURA Monthly Meeting, MCL Cafeteria, 11:00 AM
    Topic:  Self-driving Cars
    Speaker: Dr. SriniPeeta, Hockema Professor of Civil Engineering

7 August PURA Monthly Meeting, MCL Cafeteria, 11 am
    Topic:  Honey Bee Research
    Speaker:  Greg Hunt


Nursing Center for Family Health (NCFH) Offers Wellness Screenings and Swallow Evaluations

NCFH will again offer free Wellness Screenings in the spring for those retirees/spouses that did not have one in the fall. We will also be offering Swallow Screenings on an appointment basis for those retirees/spouses that feel they have a swallowing issue.

Appointments will be in March and April and can be done at the same time as your Wellness Screening, and are also free.  If you had your Wellness Screening in the fall and would like to schedule a Swallow Screening, you may also schedule just the Swallow Screening.

Appointments are limited and performed by SLHS Purdue I-Eat Swallowing Research Clinic.  Swallow Screenings will be on a no charge, limited appointment pilot basis.  Spring dates for wellness and swallowing screenings are 3/10, 3/31 and 4/7.  To schedule, call Chris Rearick at 765-496-0308 or send email to crearick@purdue.edu

West Lafayette School Superintendent Speaks At February PURA Meeting

Rocky Killion, superintendent of WL School Corporation, presented the monthly PURA program on February 6, 2017. His presentation focused on the assets of the corporation. Its mission is “Sustaining Our Excellence, Growing Our Future”, and that mission is being realized based on the following facts. From 2011-2016 the corporation boasted the highest SAT scores in Indiana and had a 100% graduation rate in 2016. It has an award-winning K-12 arts and music curriculum with a 70% student involvement rate. The corporation also has an award-winning athletic program, all grades had an “A” grade, and the average elementary class size is 23 students.  The corporation has the lowest administrative costs in the state.  The last 4 years have seen an increase of over 400 students with less funding from the state.

Dr. Killion highlighted new construction and upgrades in the planning process for Happy Hollow, Burtsfield, Cumberland, and WL Junior/Senior High School.  All current facilities are overcrowded and outdated, with Happy Hollow having the smallest square foot classrooms in Indiana.  Planned construction and renovation will cost $60 to $80 million dollars. That investment will allow for planning for an expected increase in students as well as the repurposing of Happy Hollow to an early childhood/kindergarten center.  He urged West Lafayette residents to vote on May 2, 2017 to support the renewal of the General Fund Referendum.  

PURA Student Scholarship Endowment Over Half-way To $50,000 Pledge

The PURA Student Scholarship Committee began an exciting journey in 2015 by pledging $50,000 to create the PURA Student Scholarship Endowment, with available dollar for dollar matching money.  As of December 31, 2016, contributions in the amount of $29,468 have been received.  Thank you, PURA members, for clearly demonstrating your loyalty and commitment to providing opportunities for students who would otherwise not be able to afford a university education.  This endowment will fund scholarships for Indiana students with substantial financial need.

If you wish to contribute, your tax-deductible donation can be made by check or credit card. Mail a check payable to the Purdue Foundation, with PURA Student Scholarship noted in the memo line, to:  Purdue Foundation, Dauch Alumni Center, 403 W. Wood Street, West Lafayette IN 47907-2007.  You may contribute on-line at http://Giving.Purdue.edu/PURA.

Contributions of any size are welcome and we still have $20,000 waiting to be matched. Your contribution can change the lives of a new generation of students.

Again, thank you for your 2016 contribution.

PURA Student Scholarship Committee:  Melinda Bain, Dan Collins, Fred Ford, Joyce Koelzer, Betty Nelson, John Norberg


PURA’s Campus and Community Activities Committee is pleased to announce one Common Read experience for Spring 2017 and another for Summer 2017.

The Spring 2017 Common Read program will be held on March 24, when PURA members will have the opportunity to learn about influential cartoonist and Purdue graduate, John McCutcheon.  Nick Schenkel, of the West Lafayette Public Library, will discuss the book Slow Ball Cartoonist, profiling McCutcheon.  It is a Purdue University Press publication written by Tony Garel-Franzen.

McCutcheon’s cartoons appeared in the Chicago Tribune from 1903 to his retirement in 1946, including the famous “Injun Summer,” which first appeared in the paper in 1907, and appeared annually thereafter for decades.  McCutcheon was the first Tribune staff member to earn the coveted Pulitzer Prize for his poignant 1931 cartoon about a victim of bank failure at the height of the Great Depression.

The program on March 24 will occur from 3:00 to 5:00 PM, in the Purdue Archives on the fourth floor of the HSSE Library (enter below the mural and go back to the elevator on the right).  Mr. Schenkel will discuss the book and present selected cartoons and other archival materials available on John McCutcheon that can be shown only in the archives.  In addition, information will be shared about archive collection building, and how researchers develop projects based on archival collections.

We encourage PURA members to park in the Grant Street Parking Garage near the Union for this campus event. Refreshments will be offered.

In August 2017, in conjunction with the Big Ten Retirees Association Conference, there will be a special Common Read event at which PURA members will have the opportunity to hear authors Jerry Ross and John Norberg discuss their book, Spacewalker, My Journey in Space and Faith, an autobiography chronicling Mr. Ross’s experiences as a NASA astronaut.  “The majority of the book is an insider's account of the U.S. Space Shuttle program, including the unforgettable experience of launch, the delights of weightless living, and the challenges of constructing the International Space Station. Ross is a uniquely qualified narrator. During seven spaceflights, he spent 1,393 hours in space, including 58 hours and 18 minutes on nine space walks.  (extract from Amazon’s book description)

Further details will be shared nearer the time of the summer Common Read.

Winter Health Tip: STAY HYDRATED

Most adults should drink about 64 ounces of fluid a day.  Caffeinated beverages are not included.  Caffeine dehydrates.  Tips to increase your fluid intake include diluting your juice, sip on ice chips throughout the day, drink broth on warm days instead of tea or coffee.  Eat snacks that are loaded with water, such as tomatoes, celery and cucumbers.  Treat yourself to a smoothie.  Don’t pass the sink without taking a “swig”.

As we age our kidneys do not conserve our fluids as they should.  Remember when you sweat or get warm that you will lose fluid that needs to be replaced.


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Health Insurance News:

PURA Benefits Committee Approves a Preventive Dental Plan for 2017

The PURA Benefits Committee has approved a new optional dental plan for 2017-18.  PURA members over age 65 (Medicare eligible) who are current members of one of the PURA retiree group health plans will have the opportunity to enroll in a preventive dental plan beginning with the 2017 calendar year. THIS IS AN OPTIONAL PLAN!  A member may choose to enroll in the dental plan without impacting their membership in one of the health insurance plans.

Anthem was selected for the carrier of this new product offered to PURA members. The plan will be a preventive-only dental plan covering oral exams and teeth cleaning twice per calendar year; bitewing X-rays once per calendar year; a full mouth X-ray once every five years; and once a year brush biopsy to detect oral cancer. A third cleaning will be covered for members with diabetes, certain heart conditions, and transplant and oncology patients.

Anthem’s plan covers members in all states of the US.  The plan is a contract for two years with monthly premiums of $14.51 for an individual or $29.02 for two members in a household.  An additional monthly administrative fee will be billed per household/contract of $2.25 when paying by automatic electronic bank payment from your checking or savings account or a $2.75 per for those paying by check. Credit cards will not be accepted for premium payment. The AmWins Company will handle the billing and premium collections for this plan.

Covered claims will be paid at 100% for in-network services at a pre-negotiated rate and 100% for out-of-network at a customary rate. Members using out-of-network dentists may be billed by their provider for amounts over the customary reimbursement rate.

Enrollment materials will be mailed to members later this fall and the information will be placed on the Purdue Retirees Association web page soon.  In-Network Dentist listings will also be available from Anthem with the enrollment information.

This is an optional program developed to meet the needs of some of our PURA members.

Purdue University Retirees Association Health Insurance Plans Renewed for 2017 With Lower or Flat Premiums For Most Members

The Benefits Committee of the Purdue University Retirees Association (PURA) has renewed the PURcare and Medicare Advantage PPO group health insurance plans with United Healthcare (UHC) for 2017 with a small reduction in premium for most PURcare members and no premium increase for Medicare Advantage members.

No changes were made to either plan for 2017.  The goals of the committee were to maintain the very best medical and drug insurance plans with the lowest premiums possible, while maintaining your ability to manage your health care with your Medicare doctor.

PURcare, the Purdue sponsored Senior Supplement plan and Part D Prescription Drug Plan, will continue for 2017 with the same medical/drug and vision benefits as 2016. The total premium will be $263.85 per member per month, a small reduction in the premium from 2016.

PURcare members with Rx coverage from the Veterans Administration - for 2017 the Supplement-only premium will be $193.70/member/month, a slight increase.

The premium for the Medicare Advantage PPO Plan for 2017 will be the same as for 2015 and 2016 at $208.49/member/month.  There will be no change to Hospital/Medical co-pays or Annual Out-of-Pocket Maximum.

The PURA Benefits Committee worked with representatives of UnitedHealthcare, Aon Hewitt Consultants and the staff of Purdue Human Resources over the past year reviewing data and studying various aspects of the health care industry to determine the best plans for all.

Members should be advised that the future introduction of many specialty drugs, some costing thousands of dollars per month, and the ever escalating health care costs will make holding the line on premiums very difficult for future years.  The Benefits Committee is working on educational materials that will help members understand what to expect in the future and to continue to manage their health care in the most cost effective manner possible. Follow the PURA Newsletters, PURA Web page and look for a scheduled workshop for the latest information.

Members enrolled in either of the retiree group plans who do not want to make a change: your coverage will automatically continue for 2017 – no re-enrollment.

If you decide to terminate your Purdue Retiree group coverage for a non-Purdue plan, you will not be able to join again at a later time.

Purdue Human Resources Support Continues:
PURA members continue to receive outstanding support from Purdue Human Resources. Our plans support some of the cost of this staff. Please phone or contact Kate LaMar with questions at klamar@purdue.edu or 765-494-1694 for assistance.

PURA Benefits Committee:
Don Gentry, Chair; Melinda Bain, PURA President; Robert Bain; John Beelke; Charles Brown; Linda Duttlinger; Fred Ford; Solomon Gartenhaus; Sue Hiser; Harry Morrison; Betty Nelson; Larry Pherson; Sandy Singer; Cliff Swensen; Leon Thacker; Roberta Thomas; Oliva Wood; John Trott, President Elect of PURA.  Human Resources Staff: Kate LaMar; Eva Nodine; Michele Salla and Teresa Wesner.

Insurance Assistance to Official Retirees Under Age 65 Now Available

October – and open medical insurance enrollment – are just around the corner.  With that in mind, now is a good time to start thinking about your insurance needs and choices for the upcoming year.

Purdue University, in partnership with the Purdue University Retirees Association and the Henriott Group, Inc., has arranged assistance for official Purdue retirees under the age of 65 and not yet eligible for Medicare, to help you understand your health insurance options in retirement.

The Health Insurance Marketplace (also known as the Exchange), created as part of the Affordable Care Act, offers health insurance options to ensure everyone in the United States has access to affordable health care.

It is likely that some number of Purdue retirees would be eligible for a premium tax credit (also known as a subsidy) to assist with the cost of healthcare through the Marketplace.  There are several plans available and it can be difficult to find a well-matched plan. That’s where Henriott comes in.  They are knowledgeable and experienced in helping you shop for a plan that best suits your needs.

During Purdue’s annual open enrollment period (beginning in late October) the Henriott Group will be ready to assist you as a Purdue retiree to review coverage options for you and your covered dependents who are not yet eligible for Medicare.

Purdue University and PURA are pleased to be able to offer this assistance, and we encourage you to review your options for 2017.

More specific information will be shared in the upcoming months via PURA News.  In addition, retirees under the age of 65 currently enrolled in a Purdue medical plan will receive information directly from Purdue University in their annual open enrollment brochure.

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