“TCB” – Elvis
You know how a flight attendant begins the flight explaining what to do in the case of an emergency?
Wait………, before you read any further, two warnings. First, this piece is going to be the buzz kill section of the newsletter. Secondly, I will most likely beat the living heck out of this analogy, and perhaps another. I am not sure. I don’t typically mix analogies, but I am feeling a tad “saucy” today, so……., fasten your seat belt. (See!)
Everyone has heard that pilots and flight attendants go through a preflight checklist. Have you ever wondered why they do this? The checklist is used to make certain that no important tasks are forgotten. Obviously, being distracted or just by being in a hurry, something could be missed and, ……, well, mistakes. No bueno.
Check lists are a form of TCB - taking care of business. While Elvis may have left the proverbial building, his TCB philosophy still holds true today as it did when he was alive.
Now my dad, and I highly suspect yours, stated that taking care of business today avoids tomorrow’s headaches. Ben Franklin said, “don’t put off until tomorrow, what can be done today.” Today’s psychologists and the “crunchy granola” sector often cite that taking care of business is a form of self-care. You know what? They are all right. Did you know that the latest research suggests that taking care of business / self-care promotes positive health outcomes, fosters resilience, and lessens stress? It does. Go science!
So with that in mind, and without any further ado…..listed below is your Benefit Fund check list.
- Timely provide to the Plan accurate and complete information needed to administer your Health Benefit Plan, including, but not limited to:
- Other health Benefit coverage and other insurance Benefits you or any eligible dependent may have in addition to your coverage with this Plan.
- Changes in you or your dependents marital status.
- Changes in dependent status. (Births, Adoptions, Separations, Divorce, Death)
- Changes in your contact information.
- Notify the Plan immediately of any change that would affect the Plan’s ability to communicate properly with you or your eligible dependents. Such changes would include, but are not limited to, a change of residence, a new e-mail address, or a change in a home or mobile phone number.
- Keep your beneficiaries’ elections current and immediately provide the Plan with any changes in your beneficiary’s contact information whenever they occur. Such changes would include, but are not limited to, changes of physical address, changes of email addresses and of course, phone numbers.
- Provide the Plan with pertinent information regarding the sickness, disease, disability, or injury, including accident reports, settlement information and any other requested additional information needed to adjudicate a claim or to seek reimbursement.
- Keep your ERTS election current. Don’t know what that is? Come to a membership meeting and I will be more than happy to explain it to you and make sure that you are dialed in so that reciprocated hours are properly dispersed as you desire.
- Unless at a pharmacy, wait until you get your explanation of benefits (e.o.b.) from the Fund before utilizing your HRA benefit. Especially at dentist offices. (We know, we know, you have a long-standing relationship with them, yadda, yadda, yadda. Let me ask you something, if it is such a great and long-standing relationship why are they shaking you down for a payment at the time of service and why won’t they submit a claim to MagnaCare for you? That relationship is a bit one-sided to us.) Anyway, please keep in mind that if a claim is never submitted, then no explanation of benefits is ever created, and no explanation of benefits, equals no HRA reimbursement. Remember, if a claim is not substantiated by an explanation of benefits or another acceptable receipt, the amount paid becomes taxable and your HRA debit card will be deactivated.
So here is the take-away - always keep your e.o.b’s and receipts and upload them right after being asked to substantiate any purchase or HRA debit card usage.
- If you:
- Have not downloaded the Teledoc app. Do so now.
- Have not downloaded the Included Health (formally known as Grand Rounds) app. Do so now.
- Have not established a Create account. Do so now.
- Have not signed into the retirement calculator. What are you waiting for? Do so now.
- Don’t know how to do any of those things? Then reserve a seat for the Health and Benefit Fund educational meetings that are being held on September 14th and 28th and we will help you get “dialed in.” Please see the piece in this newsletter titled “Health and Benefit Plan Educational Meetings for Active Members, Apprentices and Early Retirees” to find out how to reserve a seat for those meetings.
- Have not attended a membership meeting this year, or for any of the past five or ten years, (You know who you are, and so do we) there is one on Monday, June 19th. It starts at 6:00 P.M. Make it a point to attend and be prompt.
- Did not know that it was Robert Baden-Powell, a British soldier, who came up with the phrase “be prepared” in 1907 and who started the scouts in 1910? Then you just learned something. Good for you! If Mr. Baden-Powell was alive today, I am certain that he would inform you that being prepared is more than half the battle. After all, if you don’t know what is going on and/or do not have these resources at your fingertips when you need them, you are setting yourself up for some serious frustration or worse, failure.
Think of it this way, the plumbing or wiring of a house is often ignored when functional or not needed. However, when those things go haywire, people are generally not prepared, or worse, don’t have a clue as to what occurred. Wouldn’t knowing the basics help you avoid a bad situation altogether? Of course it could. At the very minimum it would help you address the situation, and probably assist you in quickly mitigating any negative consequences. Which, in turn, creates a less stressful situation.
If you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for a loved one. For example, I cannot tell you how many times a deceased participant did not update their beneficiary form and this resulted in the deceased’s family fighting amongst themselves. Actually I could, but it would just make you sad, and there is no point in either of us being sad…...
Simply put, in the end, there are only a few things that matter, and fights, unnecessary stress, tension between family members and added work for your family and, not for nothing, the Fund office is not one of them. So ask yourself this - do you really want to be remembered as lazy? Or as someone who was too selfish to take the needed time to take care of business? I can assure you that when this occurs, that is often what we hear family members say. Actually, we typically hear them describe the deceased with much more descriptive and colorful words. But, and as they say, “if the shoe fits…..”
Conversely, you’re dead. So what do you care about what they say about you anyway? Truth be told, this is just one of many things that they will be angry with you about. Am I right?
Well I want you to be better than that, and I am willing to guess so do your family and friends. So similar to a flight crew repeating their message to improve flight safety, the Fund office repeats these messages in an effort to hammer home the fact that taking care of business today will help you avoid mistakes and errors that could hinder your future success.
Think of this piece like you do when you hear the flight crews’ message about the air mask. If an emergency occurs on a plane, you need to put on your own mask first because you need to be both physically and mentally able to react properly. The premise here is that by meeting your needs first, you can help or provide guidance to others around you. Which more times than not, is a loved one.
Now, Elvis didn’t write a song about taking care of business. But Randy Bachman of BTO did. It’s a fine song. If you don’t know that song (How could you not as it has been in serious rotation since its release in ’73,) do yourself a favor and give it a listen.
Ok, so here was my check list for this piece.
- Reminded you of some basic principles and actions that will make your life and the lives of your loved ones easier. – Check.
- Reminded you of when the next meeting is. (Seriously, when are you going to grace us with an appearance?) – Check.
- Kept the piece amusing and light to write. Perhaps not so much to read. (But in my defense, I am running out of different ways to write the same thing without losing my mind.) – Check.
As a side benefit, you also received some context behind a familiar practice, interesting insight on some historical people and perhaps, got you to include BTO’s “Taking Care of Business” in your summer of 2023 play list.
After you TCB, fasten your seatbelt. Sit back. Relax and enjoy your journey.