Northern Trust Survey

GettyImages 694022588

Recently, PBUCC Staff and Investment Committee members met with outside experts from Northern Trust, Neuberger Berman, and GSAM to:

  • gain further insight into trends in retirement plan structure and participant choices, to see how the Pension Boards’ 403(b) Annuity Plan compares, and
  • review our Faith and Finance (Sustainable Investing) initiatives.

Read more ...

The Outlook: What We Are Watching

outlook 3

To be honest, the better performance by the U.S. versus the rest of the world is not entirely unexpected after a strong year for international stocks in 2017. Tax changes and less regulation have stimulated the U.S. economy, but the markets have recently started to gravitate to the idea that the U.S. represents the only investment opportunity in the world. Although Pension Boards’ Funds are allocating a majority of assets to U.S. investments, most experts know the benefits of diversification over the longer term, and international markets should not be ignored, especially when they hold value for the longer-term.

We thought you would like to see a current assessment of emerging markets by GSAM. We will continue to keep you informed on trends influencing global markets and your retirement funds.

*The EM Comeback report is used with permission of Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

UCC MEDICAL PLAN MEMBERS AFFECTED BY HURRICANE FLORENCE


Highmark recognizes how important it is to help those affected by natural disasters, so we’re putting temporary program changes into effect for those who are affected by Hurricane Florence. For those who reside in areas where States of Emergency have been declared, the following waivers have been put in place:

Read more ...

How to Make the Most of Your Doctor Visits

doctorsOffice

Have you ever walked out of a doctor’s office and forgot to ask a question about a symptom you’ve been having, or brought home a new medication and couldn’t remember if you were supposed to take it with a meal?

A little preparation before your next visit can help you ensure you’re getting the most out of your doctor visits, and ensure you’re being an active participant in your health – saving you time, money and worry. You can get more from your doctor visits by following these tips:

Before you go…

  • Choose the right doctor. Check if your provider is in your health plan’s network, how long it takes to get an appointment, and if they’re available for medical issues after hours.
  • Create a list of questions you want answered. Prioritize the list to ensure you ask the most important questions first.
  • Bring a record of your prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and supplements you take regularly, as well as the names and contact information of other doctors you see.
  • Take along a personal health record and other pertinent information to share.
  • Ask someone to go with you to take notes or to be a second set of ears.

While at the visit…

  • Arrive on time. Your appointment allots you a specific amount of time with the doctor.
  • Be open and honest. Sometimes it can feel awkward to discuss certain things with your doctor. Being truthful and forthcoming can help your doctor better assess your needs.
  • Share your history. Your personal and family health history may offer the doctor insight into how to manage your care.
  • Get the details about tests, procedures and treatments. Ask about side effects and when to expect test results.
  • Listen actively to your doctor to demonstrate that you are a partner in your care.

Single Parents Need Life Insurance

In most cases, parents should carry life insurance for as long as their children depend on them financially. This is particularly true for single parents, especially those who are their children’s sole provider. It’s important to make sure that if you were to die, there would be enough resources available to support your children until they’re able to earn a living on their own.

Read more ...

For the Single Parent, a Will Has Special Importance

Every adult needs certain estate plan documents. Among the essential documents for protecting the financial and emotional well-being of your loved ones are a will; beneficiary designations for life insurance, retirement plans, and IRAs; powers of attorney; and a living will. Making sure your beneficiary designations are up to date and creating a will should be your top priorities, as these items form the foundation of your estate plan. And, if you’re a single parent, a will plays an even more important role than usual in your estate plan.

Read more ...

Deadline for Healthy Stewards Rewards Participation Is Fast Approaching!

fruits hs

Don’t miss out! UCC Non-Medicare Health Plan participants and their covered spouses/partners have can earn up to $300 each for completing Healthy Stewards Wellness Rewards activities. Get started by logging in at www.highmarkbcbs.com and clicking on Rewards Program.

  • Request your 2018 Health Screening option by August 15 and receive $100.
  • Complete your Wellness Profile by September 30 and receive an additional $100.
  • Complete your Coaching Activity by September 30 and receive $100 more!

Complete all three Wellness Reward activities and earn $300!

Contact a PBUCC Health Services Representative with program questions at 1.800.642.6543, ext. 2870. For login help, call Highmark Technical Assistance at 1.877.298.3918.

New Vendor for Flexible Spending Accounts

fsa image

On January 1, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield became the administrator for the Flexible Benefits Plan for UCC Ministries (also known as the Flexible Spending Account or FSA).

FSA Plan participants may now access their accounts by logging in to Highmark at www.highmarkbcbs.com. Once logged in, click the Spending tab for an overview of your account, submit claims, or provide substantiation for a debit card purchase. Click here for additional information on using your account or contact Highmark BCBS at 1.866.763.9471 with questions.

Staying Safe in Warmer Weather

stayHydratedAs the days get warmer, it becomes increasingly important to stay hydrated and keep your body cool. Whether you are spending a leisurely day at the beach or going for an outdoor run, you should make sure that you are taking the proper steps to prevent dehydration and overheating.

Tips to stay hydrated:

  • Keep water on hand: Take a water bottle with you before leaving the house and drink from it throughout the day. Feeling thirsty is a signal that your body is already on the way to dehydration, so drink up!
  • Snack on hydrating fruits and veggies: Peaches, oranges, cucumber, carrots, watermelon, and grapes all taste great and help to rehydrate!
  • Drink water before, during, and after exercising: If you are doing low to moderate activity for less than an hour, water is sufficient. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that for every 15-20 minutes you exercise, drink 3-8 fluid ounces of water (if you’re not exceeding 60 minutes of exercise).

Know the signs of a heat-related illness: Visit the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Extreme Heat and Your Health website to learn about the warning signs of heat-related illness. If you suspect that you or someone you are with is experiencing heat stroke, call 911 immediately.

With just a little planning and preparation, you and your loved ones can stay cool and refreshed on hot summer days. Enjoy the warm weather and stay safe!