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University of Minnesota Retirees Association.


Be all you can be as a University retiree!!

With the University of Minnesota Retirees Association (UMRA).


Next Luncheon
Nominations Open
Health Benefits Update
Senior Education
UMRA Cares
From the Cares Desk, Chemo, April 2015

The Journal of Opinions, Ideas, and Essays (JOIE)
Become a Member

April 28, 2015 Luncheon Meeting

Robert L. Kane, M.D., endowed chair in long-term Care and aging, University of Minnesota, will speak on "Being the Good Caregiver," and also lead the workshop on this topic.

See our meetings page for more information.

UMRA Nominating Committee seeks your suggestions and involvement

Board and officer nominations for 2015-2016

If you missed our request in the March newsletter, there's still time to nominate someone, including yourself, for next year's UMRA Board of Directors and officers.

If you have been thinking about volunteering, this is a great time to offer your service. If you are relatively new to UMRA, this is the perfect way to get to know other members, so jump right in!

Positions we need to vote on for next year include

Descriptions of terms and duties can be found in the Operating Manual on the UMRA website [].

The election will be at the annual meeting in May, but the committee asks for your suggestions by Friday, April 17, so they can consider and contact suggested nominees. Please contact any nominating committee member: John Adams, chair; Hal Miller, Gayle Graham Yates, John Anderson, and Nancy Helmich. They will be happy to hear from you.

— Julie Medbery, UMRA Secretary


Health benefits update: Results of open enrollment for U retiree health plans

According to Employee Benefits, a total of 2,856 of us who are 65 years of age and over (1,994 retiree only and 862 family) signed up for health coverage under the University's Retiree Health Plan.

By plan option, Health Partners 65+ was the most popular selection, with 972 enrollees (34.0 percent), up 2.0 percent, followed by Blue Cross/Blue/Shield's U of M retiree plan with 822 (28.8 percent), up 2.4 percent. Medica's Group Prime Solution has enrolled 707 (24.8 percent), which is down 3.4 percent. U Care for Seniors has 284 (9.8 percent), up 1.1 percent.

In addition to these numbers, 417 retirees (14.6 percent) signed up for secondary plans first offered for 2014 by each of the carriers. Coverage under these plans featured lower premium, higher out-of-pocket-costs. The numbers included 144 with Health Partners 65+, 138 with Medica, 76 with U Care, 34 with BC/BS, and 25 with the Health Partners National Plan.

— Ted Litman, Umra MRA Resentative to the University of Minnesota Benefits Advisory Committee

REMINDER: Senior Citizen Education Program

The Senior Citizen Education Program (SCEP) is part of a 2012  Minnesota state statute and applies to Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MNSCU). The University of Minnesota has chosen to participate in order to provide senior citizens with higher education opportunities.

If you meet the residency and age requirements of the SCEP, you may audit courses free of charge or take courses for credit at $10 per credit. Whether you audit or earn credits for the course, you must pay any required laboratory or materials fees. To register and for more information go to the senior citizen section of the University's ONE STOP student services page. Back

UMRACares Group

the UMRA Cares committee members stand ready throughout the year to assist and support members who may be facing serious illness or experiencing the death of a loved one. Tthis committee was formed by members who know first-hand how important it is to have support in times of stress or loss. If you or someone you know wants to talk with a member of UMRA Cares, please e-mail them at or call and leave a message at the office phone: 612-626-4403.

Throughout the year, including summer, your UMRACARES committee hopes to provide you with support and resources through emails, programs and on our website on dealing with the death or serious illness of a loved one.  We will keep you posted as we move along and establish these programs.

Grief Support Groups This list, courtesy of Allina Health, has been compiled to help those who may be interested in seeking assistance through grief support goups or individual therapy.

Please n call any member of our committee with questions or comments you may have with regard to dealing with the loss or serious illness of a family member.   Or call us with ideas you would like to offer for the continuing operation of this UMRA program.   

Van Linck           651-490-1385
Earl Nolting        651-633-4333
Harriet Reiss      763-544-8016


From the Cares Desk, Chemo


From the Cares Desk

Chemotherapy: a dreaded word for a medical procedure no one wants but may at some point require. A treatment option that is feared and not well understood by those told they will need "chemo".

There are two references that will be very helpful to a patient:

The Chemo Zone: Your guide to living and flourishing during chemotherapy. Linda Rubietta with Tracy Rubietta, 2011, Beaver Pond Press, Edina, MN.
 This reference is a workbook developed by Linda (patient) with daughter Tracy. Described by the authors as a survival guide; reviewed by a team of medical advisers for accuracy and relevance. Available through or START HERE. An excellent resource.  I have used it.

Chemotherapy and You: support for people with cancer. National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health.  2007 NIH publication # 09-7156. An excellent discussion of Q & A about chemotherapy, side effects and ways to manage them, foods to help with side effects, helpful organizations, and a brief explanation of several medical terms.  Available free from 1-800-422-6237 (1-800-4-CANCER) or Excellent resource. I have read it.

If you or someone you know and love is facing chemotherapy tell them that there are some excellent resources available to help them through the experience.

—Earl Nolting, Cares Committee


Current Links of Interest to Retirees

Invite a retiree to an UMRA lunch

If you know someone who is recently retired or will be soon, invite them to the next luncheon. Prospective members receive a complimentary meal, just so they can check us out! When you make your reservations, call in to tell us that you want to bring a prospective member, and UMRA will trreat them to their first luncheon program.

UMRA members launch unique digital Journal of Opinions, Ideas, and Essays

The University of Minnesota, through the good offices of the Provost and the University Digital Conservancy (UDC) announces a new, unusual, and perhaps unique digital journal, The Journal of Opinions, Ideas and Essays(JOIE).

As the title implies, it is be a vehicle for the publication of a broad variety of high-quality articles on a wide assortment of topics that may not be encouraged by or suitable for publication in conventional, scholarly journals. It will include reviews, short stories, poems, photographic essays, essays on scholarly topics, opinion pieces, and discussions of pedagogical or curricular issues.

JOIE is managed by UMRA (University of Minnesota Retirees Association), and will be accessible to anyone with electronic access to the UDC.

The board of editors invites submissions from any member of the University community, past or present.

You may view the inaugural issue at There you will find representative articles, instructions to authors, and contact information.

We encourage you to submit articles and to read what we hope will become a popular vehicle for intellectual exchange.

— Steve Benson and JOIE Board of Editors Back

UMRA membership

An application/renewal form is available here. Retirees joining UMRA for the first time get a 60% reduction in fees. This "introductory membership" costs is just $10 for a single or $15 for a couple for the first year.

For members who are sure they want to attend every UMRA luncheon, you may pay for the first seven, September through April, in advance with your membership application or renewal. The price is the same, but you don’t have to write a check each time.

No refunds are available and a missed luncheon is considered a donation to UMRA. You still need to make a reservation for each luncheon by phone or email. The price is $112 (7 x $16) for one package.

UMRA has a telephone number, 612-626-4403. Messages are checked and processed on a daily basis. Back

We hope you find this website useful and we invite you to send comments and suggestions to the Webmaster, Dave Naumann, at


Luncheon Audience


Luncheon guests October 2012

Luncheon guests October 2012

Luncheon guests October 2012

Luncheon guests October 2012

Luncheon guests November 2012

March 2012 after-luncheon Workshop