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#1
Good Morning Bret,

I sent you an email with the my recommendations to improve the enrollment process for retiring members. I'll post it here later this week so you can vet it for accuracy first.

Have a great weekend,
Mike Vail
#2
avatar_Mike Vail
General Archive of Old Saved Topics / Re: Experience with Vimly and ...
Last post by Mike Vail - Saturday April, 23, 2022, 11:26
Hi Bret,

Thank you for posting this. I'm currently going through the enrollment process myself and will document something for you. If you don't mind, I'd like to post it here in this thread so others can confirm or deny if they too have dealt with the same issues. I will also email it to you for you to share with Vimly as you see fit.  My thinking is it may generate more responses for you.

I have definitely identified things that need to be improved / fixed. I spoke with Suzan Kolb at Vimly recently in hopes of ironing some of the issues out with her as well. I'll include the info she shared and what she and I came up with to address a few things when I send my message to you.

I hope to have the enrollment process completed in the next week.

Take care and thank you for taking this on!

Warmly,
Mike Vail
#3
Hi everyone...

Over the past several months, I have received several complaints about Vimly, the 3rd party administrator that manages our RMT, particularly as it relates to their responsiveness and communication, as well as the "on-boarding" process for new retirees.   

The RMT was established by our members and should work for members!  It is imperative that we have a 3rd party administrator that works to make the process as easy as possible.  If you are a recent retiree, the Board of Trustees is interested in hearing about your experience.  Please shoot me an email, text or phone call.  My email is bretsackett@yahoo.com and my phone number is 707-975-0858.  You can also contact any of the other board members:  Clancy Faria, Brandon Jones, Anthony Diehm and Rich Dunlap.  Their contact info is listed in the contact section of the RMT forum on the DSA website. 

Thanks,

Bret
RMT Chair
 
#4
WOW ... 
#5
Below you will find the email string I received from Melissa Elmer, who manages OUR money for the RMT, regarding my request for documentation. She denies claims and states she has no requirement to provide us with the information we need to resolve the issue causing the denial or any documentation explaining the denial. Apparently she is only required to give a generic reason which is of no help at all. If you speak with her regarding the issue, you get the same explanation. In my opinion she is purposely avoiding a paper trail, which should be of great concern to all of us who have thousands of OUR dollars tied up in this wonderful program.

If anyone has had same or similar problems, please contact me.


Redwood Empire Public Safety Medical Trust via bensolinc.onmicrosoft.com
Feb 11, 2020, 10:31 AM
to Bryan, Stacie, Suzan

Hello Bryan,

Thank you for your inquiry. Per the Trust rules the requirements for claims is listed within the Summary Plan Description, which can be found at https://redwood.simon365.com. The Trust is not required to provide further explanation. If you would like to ask for further explanation I am happy to have a conversation with you.

Additionally, the Trust is not required to provide copies of claims that are denied. Again, if you would like additional information I am happy to have a conversation with you and provide you the review of the documentation you submitted.

You are entitled to file an appeal, as stated in the letter as well as the Summary Plan Description. If an appeal is submitted it will be discussed at the next Board of Trustees meeting.

Please let me know if you have additional questions.

Thank you,
MELISSA ELMER

Customer Success Coordinator
Vimly Benefit Solutions
T +1 855-796-6978
redwood@vimly.com


From: Bryan Londo <blondo@comcast.net>
Sent: Monday, February 10, 2020 6:46 PM
To: Redwood Empire Public Safety Medical Trust <redwood@vimly.com>
Subject: [External Email] Letter dated 2/5/2020

Mrs Elmer


I am in receipt of your letter dated 2/5/2020 denying my claims. Once again you have failed to provide an itemized list of what is required "further documentation" to meet your requirements. Additionally you have failed to provide copies of the claims you claim are not "within the 90 day of the end of the plan year" "not eligible" etc

I have asked you repeatedly to provide this information and you refuse to do so. To deny claims and then refuse to tell me what it is I need to provide is counter productive and in violation of your fiduciary responsibility to the Redwood Empire Medical Trust.

You leave me no choice but to seek a legal remedy.

Bryan Londo
#6
S
General Archive of Old Saved Topics / Re: Important Retiree Medical ...
Last post by spencer_crum - Wednesday November, 20, 2019, 11:36
I just spoke with Melissa at Vimly to check on the BPAS debit card to pay for medical expenses and she confirmed that talks with BPAS have broken down and they will not be partnering with them for a debit card payment system, nor have they been in talks with any other company to provide services so for now we pay for medical expenses out of pocket, then submit a reibursement form.
#7
Effective September 1, 2019, RMT Benefits will be increased. The following is a breakdown based on your Group.

Group A

The Unit Multiplier of the Plan (used to calculate monthly benefit levels) will increase from $.095 to $1.15 for all Covered Expenses.

Under the PREVIOUS Unit Multiplier ($0.95), your estimated benefit would be calculated as follows

Step 1:                  Convert payroll contributions to Active Service Units (ASU)
$69.23/pay period x 26 pay periods/year = $1799.98 per year
$1799.98/year ÷ $100/ASU = 18 ASU/Year

Step 2: Calculate the number of ASU in 10 Years
18 ASU x 10 years = 180 ASU

Step 3:                  Multiply number Active Service Units by Unit Multiplier (currently$0.95):
Monthly Benefit Level: 180 ASU x $0.95 = $171/month



Under the NEW Unit Multiplier ($1.15), your estimated benefit will not be calculated as follows

Example #1 - 10 years in Trust: Employee Jones participates for ten years, and the contribution rate is$69.23 per pay period for his entire employment. Employee Jones' monthly Benefit Level will be calculated as follows:

Step 1:                  Convert payroll contributions to Active Service Units (ASU)
$69.23/pay period x 26 pay periods/year = $1799.98 per year
$1799.98/year ÷ $100/ASU = 18 ASU/Year

Step 2: Calculate the number of ASU in 10 Years
18 ASU x 10 years = 180 ASU

Step 3:                  Multiply number Active Service Units by Unit Multiplier (currently$0.95):
Monthly Benefit Level: 180 ASU x $1.15 = $207/month


Employees employed on both September 1, 2009, and September 1, 2017, and for whom, contributions were made, and for whom Contributions ceased before the Employee met the Active Service requirement under Section 2.1(a)(1) of the Second Restated plan will receive a $2,850 lump sum.


Each Employee employed by the County on September 1, 2009, and who meet the Active Service requirement, will receive an additional 28.5 Active Service Units (added to the Active Service Units earned from monthly payroll Contributions during employment), funded by a lump sum County Contribution received during Trust startup.

Group B

The Maximum Monthly Benefit will increase from $40 to $70.


Note:

No Change to Benefit Levels for Eligible Retirees with Disability Prior to September 1, 2017. There will be no Benefit Level change for Eligible Retirees with a documented "Disability," as defined in Plan Section 1.11, and a disability retirement date from SCERA prior to September 1, 2017. Due to the date of their disability retirement, these Eligible Retirees are grandfathered to the prior flat benefit levels in effect before September 1, 2017. Implementing the new Unit Multiplier formula for these Eligible Retirees with a Disability would decrease their Benefit Level. Therefore, the Trustees have grandfathered these retirees to the prior benefit level calculation method, and there is no change under Plan Amendment No. 14 for these retirees.

Caveat:  These are examples.  The Trustees reserve the right to modify the Unit Multiplier (up or down) and the formula used to calculate Benefit Levels at any time for both existing and future Beneficiaries.  Such a modification is most frequently attributable to favorable or adverse demographic or financial experience of the Plan.  The Trustees work with a professional actuarial firm to determine the Unit Multiplier.  For more details, please contact the Trust Office.


#8
avatar_Mike Vail
General Archive of Old Saved Topics / Re: Important Retiree Medical ...
Last post by Mike Vail - Thursday July, 11, 2019, 10:10
All,

The contact phone number for Vimly that was sent to everyone is incorrect. Below is the correct number for you to call for their assistance. The RMT Trustees have been notified and will be working with Vimly to correct their documentation. I have updated the documents notices in the first post here with the corrected phone number if you want to re-download them.

Vimly Benefit Solutions
Phone: (855) 796-6978
Email: redwood@vimly.com

Take care,
Mike Vail
#9
avatar_Mike Vail
General Archive of Old Saved Topics / Important Retiree Medical Trus...
Last post by Mike Vail - Wednesday June, 12, 2019, 09:58
Good Day Everyone,

After a competitive bidding process, the RMT Trustee Board has selected a new third-party administrator (TPA). With this transition, significant changes and improvements are coming to the DSA's Redwood Empire Retiree Medical Trust! We are very excited to bring these changes to you. The new TPA is called Vimly Benefits Solutions and will be replacing the W.C. Earhart Company. Included in this post is a copy of a letter you all members will soon be receiving in the mail. The letter you receive will depend on whether you are an 'Active' member, 'Group A' retiree or a 'Group B' retiree.

There are some exciting new benefits that come from our arrangement with Vimly. Vimly has partnered with a company called BPAS to provide a credit card associated with your account for Group A members. The card can be used to pay for your medical expenses. They also have web portal to view your balances and account information online. These are just two of the new benefits.

Rather than overwhelm people with a ton of information all at once, we will be posting the info about the Trust changes as they take effect and when they will be most useful to members. The posts will always be on the DSA for your future reference and can easily be accessed by clicking the large RMT button at the top of the DSA Member Area.

Most of the information will be sent to your home address via US Mail. We will also post and announce new posts on the DSA website with the information. You should receive an email notification that the posts are ready for you to read. Please keep an eye out for these announcements and other correspondence from the RMT Trustee Board. The information is designed to be helpful to you. There are numerous changes and improvements coming in the near future that will benefit both Group A and Group B members.

Once the changes are fully implemented, we plan to hold a breakfast meeting at the DSA Hall for active and retired members to meet with the RMT Trustees Board members, hear a presentation on all the new benefits and ask questions about the RMT and your benefits. We will make sure we fully notify everyone of this meeting in advance so as many people can attend as possible.

Take care and thanks for your patience as we bring this new company online to provide the best service possible for our retired members. The transition should go quickly and will be well worth it!

A HUGE thanks to our RMT volunteer Trustees for working through this process for our bothers and sisters!

Fraternally,
Mike Vail and the RMT Trustee Board
#10
avatar_Mark Provost
General Archive of Old Saved Topics / Vesting and Cobra Options for ...
Last post by Mark Provost - Monday December, 11, 2017, 10:50
This is from the RMT Attorney Linda Stuessi,

Any member who terminates their employment with the Sheriff's Office and fully retires from the County within 18 months of attaining 10 years of active service with the Sheriff's Office (i.e., 10 years of contributions to the Plan) can use COBRA payments to earn the balance of their 10 years of active service needed for a lifetime benefit from the trust.  So, since the first 10-year point is September 1, 2019, anyone who terminates after the February 2018 monthly payments are completed by the County, would be able to attain eligibility through self-payments.  Those who may be thinking of retiring this month through February may want to consider staying on for a few months.

Each employee who terminates employment with the County for any reason, including retirement, should receive a COBRA notice informing them of this right and in March 2018 those notices will start to have the monthly payment information.  The notice has blanks for Earhart to fill in that tell the amount of the monthly payment and how many months of self-payments are required for eligibility. Even if they are not retiring from the County, they should consider getting the 10 years of Active Service because they would get the monthly lifetime benefit starting at age 57.   If they opt not to do the self-payment, then they will get the individual account benefit.

Self-payment requires that the former employee self-pay the total monthly contribution equal to the employer plus employee contribution.  They have to make these payments monthly without reminders from the Trust.  If they miss a payment, then their COBRA rights are terminated and they won't be able to earn any additional active service through COBRA.  The notice explains all of these requirements.  In addition, the notice tells them that they have a 30 day grace period for each COBRA self-payment.

We cannot require them to make the COBRA payments more quickly than monthly; we have to offer them a monthly payment schedule.  However, if they want to pre-pay in one lump sum or pay more quickly the total contribution payments, then they can get eligibility before 9/1/19.  The Plan allows payment of Covered Expenses any time after 9/1/14, as long as they meet all of the eligibility requirements.  There is no prohibition of payment monthly benefits prior to 9/1/19; that is just the date that the first members will have 10 years of contributions via the regular contributions.

Keep in mind that they have to meet all of the eligibility requirements in order to become eligible, not just 10 years of Active Service.  The eligibility requirements are:
  • 10 years of Active Service
  • Age 50 if the employee retires from the County and receives retirement benefits from SCERA, or age 57 if not eligible for benefits from SCERA
  • Contributions for all periods of Active Service
  • Separated from County employment , except for service as a retiree as extra-help. EH employees are now ineligible for trust benefits after a US Dept of Labor change that takes effect on July 1, 2021. EH must now fully separate from all County service before they can collect benefits. EH members currently collecting benefits from the trust may no longer submit claims until fully retiring but will not lose benefits that accrue while they remain employed with the County
The COBRA rights have been distributed to all members in the benefit booklet.  The COBRA notice is right behind the SPD in the booklet. You will also find the Cobra information attached to this post below.