We put much effort this year into making the PWGA website relevant to our Participants. DID YOU KNOW was conceived as a monthly column to educate Participants about the Pension and Health Plan resources available to them. In addition, we added a host of underlying technical improvements, a vastly improved search engine, much better security, and the ability to receive electronic forms and notifications.
When you write a screenplay or teleplay, the first act is devoted to laying out exposition. We did the same thing with DID YOU KNOW’s first year. The articles were chosen to help Participants better understand the resources available to them.
Now that we’ve covered a lot about what is available, next year’s articles will focus on coping with the problems that typically arise. We’ve polled the PWGA staff to see what questions they get asked, what problems typically arise, and how these most common concerns are resolved. In 2017, DID YOU KNOW will address those issues and more.
Where We’ve Been
JANUARY – THE INDUSTRY HEALTH NETWORK
We talked about a resource available to writers in California: The Industry Health Network (TIHN). Recently acquired by UCLA, TIHN offers a host of sophisticated medical resources at exceptionally low cost.
FEBRUARY – URGENT CARE VS. THE EMERGENCY ROOM
We discussed Urgent Care, when it makes sense, when an Emergency Room might be a better choice, and how the Health Plan supports you at either one.
MARCH – COBRA – WHAT TO DO WHEN HEALTH COVERAGE ENDS
This month was devoted to a discussion of COBRA, how it works and how it complements the WGA Health Plan.
APRIL – EXPRESS SCRIPTS – HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR PRESCRIPTIONS
Express Scripts is a mail-order pharmacy that allows our Participants access to all kinds of drugs at tremendously discounted prices. Any of our Participants who have been treated for Hepatitis C, HIV, or other illnesses that require expensive drugs can attest to the effectiveness of this service.
MAY – WELLCARE
This month’s discussion was devoted to one of the Health Plan’s all too often underutilized resources: Wellcare. The article looked at what the Plan covers and how Participants can use Wellcare benefits to get the most bang for their buck.
JUNE – 2ND RETIREMENT – HOW IT WORKS
We looked at a valuable resource available to Pension Participants: 2nd retirement. The PWGA Pension Plan has valuable 2nd retirement resources, and this article explains how a Participant qualifies, and how they may go about claiming their 2nd retirement benefits.
JULY – PREVENTATIVE SERVICES FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
Summer seems to be a time when people’s minds turn to vacation and other summer pursuits. We decided it might also be a good time to discuss preventative services, what they are, and how Participants can avail themselves.
AUGUST – HOW BLUE CROSS RATES HEALTH PROVIDERS AND MEDICAL CENTERS TO HELP YOU GET THE BEST CARE
In this month, we looked at a service offered by Blue Cross – Compare Care – which helps our Participants to assess physicians’ and medical centers’ performance with a host of common (and not so common) medical services. You can find out how the providers compare when it comes to open heart surgery, different kinds of cancer, as well as a host of other ailments.
SEPTEMBER – LIVEHEALTH ONLINE
There were two articles in September about a brand-new resource for the Health Plan: telemedicine. Participants can use their camera equipped phone, laptop, or other electronic device to communicate directly with a physician 24 hours a day. There was also a first- person-account of one writer’s experience using this new resource.
OCTOBER – THE PENSION PLAN AND YOU – HOW IT WORKS
We used this month to help Participants better understand how their pension plan works.
NOVEMBER – HOW THE HEALTH PLAN WORKS AND HOW A WRITER QUALIFIES
This month was devoted to helping Participants understand how they qualify for Health Plan coverage, and what additional healthcare services are provided by the Health Plan.
DECEMBER – LOOKING BACK TO LOOK FORWARD
This month is devoted to looking back on the past year, even as we prepare for what comes next.
Where We’re Going
The upcoming year is going to be devoted to problem solving. We want to help Participants avoid pitfalls and resolve common problems. We have consulted with staff to learn what issues they deal with most commonly, and how they resolve these matters, but we would love to have your input as well. We’re here to be your trusted guide, and in order to do that as well as possible, we want and need your input.
If you have a topic you’d like us to address, just drop us an email and we’ll see if we can fit it in. All submissions will be confidential, and the email site is secure.
We wish you all a Happy Holidays and joyous New Year!