On Tuesday, March 17, WEA learned that Premera Blue Cross was the target of a sophisticated cyberattack and they sent out a notice to WEA members advising them about it and forwarding a web link where people can sign up for two years of free credit reporting and identity theft protection. http://www.premeraupdate.com.
All current and former members may receive a letter from Premera in the coming weeks.
WEA received several follow up questions from members and have summarized them below. People who have specific questions should direct them to Premera via the website, http://www.premeraupdate.com/ or its toll free number 1-800-768-5817, Monday through Friday, between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time.
Q. Do I need a code to sign up for credit monitoring and Identity theft protection?
A. No. You can sign up for both services at www.premeraupdate.com. Click on the button for "Free Credit Monitoring" and then "Enroll." Click the box that says, "I believe I was affected by the Premera/LifeWise cyberattack." It will take you to the sign up pages.
If you have children, please be sure to visit the "Additional Services for Children" site also available through the "Free Credit Monitoring" path described above.
Q. Do I need to wait for a letter from Premera to sign up for free credit monitoring and identity theft?
A. No. In fact, Premera is advising folks to sign up for the credit monitoring and Identity theft services just in case. You can do that here: http://www.premeraupdate.com
Q. Is this a problem for employees who had Premera Blue Cross medical insurance or for all employees because of the dental insurance?
A. The security breach impacts people who were enrolled in any of the WEA Select medical and dental plans (except Willamette or the retiree plan), disability, life, long term care, Valic or the old Metlife/ UAL 403(b) plans and dues.
Premera is advising people to sign up for the credit monitoring and Identity theft even if you haven't yet received a letter from them. If you weren't enrolled in the medical and/or vision plans, Premera may not have your address but is working on a plan to identify and contact this subset of people.
Q. Does this affect me if I was part of Premera in the past? Or, I'm retired, does this affect me?
A. It may. The breach goes back as far as 2002. Premera is advising folks to sign up for the credit monitoring and Identity theft services just in case. You can do that here: www.premeraupdate.com.
Q. I'm not part of Premera. Does the security breach affect me?
A. It is possible. Many school districts process dues collection through Premera, so you may be in their system. Premera is advising folks to sign up for the credit monitoring and Identity theft services just in case. You can do that here: http://www.premeraupdate.com
Q. Why does Premera process our union dues? How does that work?
A. The WEA uses the Premera collection system to collect most dues from School Districts payroll deduction the same way that it collects and distributes premium payments for healthcare. Dues are distributed directly to WEA, Councils and Locals. The money is controlled by the WEA and Premera provides the collection function in partnership with WEA Membership Services.
Q. I prefer to talk to someone. Do I have to use the website?
A. The website (http://www.premeraupdate.com ) is where you can sign up for free credit reporting and identity theft protection. If you have specific questions, Premera has set up a toll free number to handle calls. 1-800-768-5817, Monday through Friday, between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time.
BEA Dues Deduction for Taxes 2014
Did you know that you can deduct most of your association dues from your income tax? The dues deduction amount is listed below.
Please remember that your 2014 dues for income tax includes 8 months at the 2013-14 rate and 4 months at the 2014-15 rate. If you have changed FTE from last year, or took any unpaid leave, keep in mind that your dues will be different- you will need assistance in determining the correct dues amount. Also, if you were hired this year, your dues will be different. The following amounts assumed you had paychecks from January- December, 2014.
If you have any questions, please contact the BEA office (425-440-6161). We can only give you the amounts to be deducted; we cannot give any tax advice.
.76 - 1.0 FTE --- $993.08
.51 - .75 FTE --- $793.56
.26 - .50 FTE --- $510.04
.1 - .25 FTE --- $266.92