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franklin county times

AERA unites, supports retired educators

The Alabama Education Retirees Association held its District I Annual Meeting at the Russellville First United Methodist Church Aug. 9. More than 100 retirees attended this very informative meeting.

Melba Wiegand, District I director, presided. The invocation was given by JoAnne Minnitt of Cullman County, and the Pledge was led by Rex Cheatham of Morgan County.

AERA President John Paul Jones addressed the delegation and expressed the importance for our strong membership. Strength in numbers is the reason we need to recruit new members. Advocacy is the cornerstone of membership, and together we stand strong.

AERA is the retired division of the Alabama Education Association. This division exists to serve all retired teachers and professors, as well as every retired support professional, such as bus drivers, office staff, cafeteria workers, custodians and more.

AERA is dedicated to actively protecting the benefits and interests of all Alabama public education retirees.

Every two years, AERA district elects a district director, who serves on the Board of Directors for a two-year term. Members also elect a state president and other state officers every two years.

The AERA consists of 76 local units, including five active higher education units.

These units are divided into 10 districts. Candidates for these positions attended the AERA District I meeting.

Presentations included the Alabama Securities Commission; the Executive Director’s State Office Report on Membership, Legislative Outlook, Community Service Initiative; and TRS Update.

A mid-morning break included sausage/ham biscuits, various snacks and drinks for all attendees. During the break, members were given the opportunity to get information from various vendors – like the Association Member Benefits Advisors; Mutual of Omaha; Cigna; and Aetna Company – and enjoy visits with friends.

Susan Traum gave an update on the Public Education Employees’ Health Insurance Plan changes. Effective Jan. 1, 2023, Medicare-eligible members and Medicare-eligible dependents who are covered on a PEEHIP retiree contract will be automatically enrolled in the PEEHIP UnitedHealthcare Group Medicare Advantage Plan.

Michelle Alverez presented the benefits of the UnitedHealthcare Group Medicare Advantage plan designed exclusively for PEEHIP retirees, plus some great extras. Some of these extras include annual wellness visit, wellness resources, personal emergency response system, virtual visits, mental and behavioral health and many more.

In addition to great healthcare coverage, AERA membership offers many other benefits, such as a travel planning and discount card, hotel discounts, auto buying program, auto and home insurance programs, dental and vision programs, long-term care policies and more.

If you are an education retiree or education support retiree, you shouldn’t have to think twice about joining AERA. The cost for retired active is $11.76 per month, and retired education support is $10.58 per month. You can’t afford not to become a member of AERA.

Franklin County’s association is open to all education and support retirees and meets monthly.