Members Advantage E-Newsletter
Stay up to date with the latest special offers from our IEA Member Benefits.
Just when you thought that you’ve done all that was needed to file your taxes this year…you get an URGENT email from the IRS that something is wrong and you must reply right away. Don’t!
Phishing emails and text messages are the preferred forms of communication for a variety of recent tax time scams. While they may appear to come from the IRS, they are actually designed by scammers to:
- Lure you into clicking on malicious links that install malware capable of stealing the personal information on your computer, smartphone or tablet
- Have you provide “missing” personal information, such as your social security number
- Pay them via a wire transfer or preloaded debit card with a threat of arrest if you do not comply
Scammers and thieves know that we have been “trained” to fear the IRS and they prey on our emotions. Over the years, many taxpayers have encountered individuals impersonating IRS officials – in person, over the telephone and via email.
What you should know…the IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media about a tax bill/refund or to request personal or financial information.This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts.In fact, the IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail or “notices” delivered by the United States Postal Service.
- Forward an unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS, or an IRS-related component like the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, to the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Report phone scams to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
While the IRS has instituted new programs and resources to try and prevent tax ID theft, they warn that crooks continue to find new, more sophisticated ways to capitalize on our money. That’s why they have a comprehensive list of information about tax-time identity theft and helpful links at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Identity-Protection.
California Casualty has been serving the needs of educators since 1951 and is the only auto and home insurance company to earn the trust and endorsement of the National Education Association (NEA). As a result, NEA members qualify for exceptional rates, deductibles waived for vandalism or collisions to your vehicle parked at school, holiday or summer skip payment plans and free Identity Defense protection – exclusive benefits not available to the general public. Learn how to save by getting a quote at www.neamb.com/autohome, or by calling 1.800.800.9410.
California Casualty is dedicated to preserving the health and safety of IEA Members and our employees. We are monitoring this ever-changing public health situation by the hour. This is an unprecedented time for everyone – a time that, for many, is filled with uncertainty. Our hearts and thoughts go out to each and every one of you.
Our primary focus is to minimize disruptions to our policyholders as we respond to concerns about the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). California Casualty remains committed to doing everything we can to serve your members, while keeping our employees safe.
IEA Members can expect to continue to receive excellent service from California Casualty. The best ways to reach us include:
- Contacting us by phone at 1.800.800.9410. You can make a payment, file a claim, manage your account balance or ask a question.
- Managing your policies online through the “Manage Your Policy” section of www.calcas.com website. You can pay your insurance bill, manage your policies, file a claim, or connect with us.
- New Accounts Representatives are available for purchasing a policy or requesting a quote, you may call 1.866.680.5142, please select option 2.
- Online “Click-to-Chat” option is also available for service.
California Casualty is following recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), taking advantage of technology and making operational modifications as this situation evolves. We have cancelled all non-essential business travel, meetings and conferences for all employees, including our local field representatives. Our service centers are utilizing social distancing, undergoing deep cleaning, along with deploying telecommuting options for employees who may need to work from home to help ensure their health and safety and that of their family members. We are encouraging company communication with clients via virtual meetings through teleconference calls and video conferences.
Thank you for your patience as we all pull together in support of our communities, customers and employees.
You have seen from other communications from the IEA that the state office in Boise is closed due to the virus. As a consequence, the two staff members of IEA Member Benefits have had to vacate the building. However, at the state level and the national level, adjustments have been made to insure that all of our members continue to receive the valuable benefits that come with their membership. Those two IEA Member Benefits staff are working remotely from their homes and can continue to provide assistance if necessary.
Director Dick Chilcote can be reached at email: email@example.com; Member Benefits Associate Collette Elton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. They have had to abandon their office phones to work from home so if you have a specific question that needs some further explanation by phone, in your email please include your phone contact. The NEA Member Benefits staffer, David Glenn, who works with Idaho can be reached by phone at 1-800-360-1296. All three can assist if you have questions.
And…there are several online references to inform you about your benefits:
NEA Member Benefits: www.neamb.com
IEA Member Benefits: ieamemberbenefits.org
One of the most popular benefits for members is the Educator Access Discount Program. With this benefit you can get discounts on hundreds of thousands of purchases locally, nationally, and online. We have been informed that you can continue to receive those discounts uninterrupted (if you can find a discount at a location that is open 🙂). This benefit continued unabated even through the recent earthquake in Salt Lake City where the benefit is headquartered.
You will find other stories in this month’s newsletter about how your benefits are being modified to insure that your membership remains valuable.
You may have noticed that the logo of the Idaho Education Association has been changed. Through consultation with the IEA’s Director of Digital Communication and Technology, the IEA Board of Directors has adopted the new logo.
In order for members and others to more easily recognize the relationship between the IEA and IEA Member Benefits, the IEA Member Benefits Board of Directors has adopted the new look.
The logo can come in various colors. Be watching for the change and be prepared to take advantage of the many benefits the logo represents.
STUDENTS’ SAFE DRIVING MESSAGES CAN STEER THEM TO $15,000 AVAILABLE IN SPRING “CREATE REAL IMPACT CONTEST”
There’s a great opportunity for educators who know of a budding artist, musician, writer or filmmaker. Impact Teen Drivers and California Casualty are once again challenging students to develop artistic ideas to combat reckless and distracted driving. Their creative solutions could net them part of $15,000 in educational grants available in the 2020 Spring Create Real Impact contest.
The 2020 Spring Create Real Impact Contest will provide $1,500 grand prizes in the following categories:
- Creative writing
- Spanish Language
- Sports team video
There will also be awards for the works receiving the most online votes.
Administrators, teachers and education support professionals are urged to motivate students to enter the contest. Three schools with the most entries will each be awarded a $1,000 educational grant.
Students, ages 14-22, can enter their works at www.createrealimpact.com.
The Create Real Impact contest was initiated in 2009 as a proactive solution to the deadly epidemic of inattentive driving by teens. Research shows distraction is a key factor in almost 60 percent of crashes involving drivers ages 16 to 19. Empowering messages from young people urging their peers to adopt safer driving attitudes and avoid the tragic result of bad choices behind-the-wheel can save lives.
“I have confidence teens can change the culture of driving to one that is distraction free – much like earlier generations did with seat belts,” said Kelly Browning, Ph.D., Executive Director, Impact Teen Drivers. “The Create Real Impact Contest provides an opportunity for teens to join the conversation and do something about the problem.”
Students across the nation, aged 14-22, can enter and find motivation from past winners at www.createrealimpact.com. The deadline for submissions is March 19 at 6 p.m. (PDT).
Online voting will take place March 20-26, with judges determining grand prize awards and notifying winners around April 1, in conjunction with National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
California Casualty has been serving the needs of educators since 1951 and is the only auto and home insurance company to earn the trust and endorsement of the NEA. As a result, NEA members qualify for exceptional rates, deductibles waived for vandalism or collisions to your vehicle parked at school, holiday or summer skip payment plans and free Identity Defense protection – exclusive benefits not available to the general public. Learn how to save by getting a quote at www.neamb.com/autohome, or by calling 1.800.800.9410.
NEA Limited Time Offers is the new online discount buying platform for NEA members. Check out these featured LTOs and more at www.neamb.com/LTOs!
- TurboTax:Get your taxes done right and save up to $20 on TurboTax online federal products.
- H&R Block:Make tax time easier and less expensive. Save 40% on H&R Block online products. Plus, new clients filing a 2019 personal return could save up to $25 on in-store tax preparation!
While you are on the site, here are examples of other LTOs: Merrell (footwear); ReallyGoodStuff (teacher created classroom solutions); BooksAMillion; Walgreens; JCPenney; HelloFresh (instructions and ingredients for cooking.)
The New Year is here and that means it’s time for Resolutions—taking time to reflect on where you are and where you want to be in the future. Even though you just got back from Winter Break and are already stressed about lesson planning, grading, writing college recommendation letters and dealing with the way Snow Days are messing up your schedule, you are just about half way through the year and need to start thinking about Spring Break and your plans for the summer. No matter what you’re trying to figure out, NEAMB.com has you covered.
- The Holidays mean shopping—shopping for gifts, for meals when entertaining, and for travel. The problem is, now you have to pay the bills. Are you trying to figure out whether you should pay off your debt or invest in your savings? Or maybe you aren’t sure of the best way to consolidate your debt. We have resources, calculators and everything you need to know at www.neamb.com/finance.
- Did you make a New Year’s resolution to travel more? Not only do we have deals on cruises and other beach vacations, but our website has a quiz to help you find your dream trip for 2020. After you take the quiz, you can enter to win our Dream Vacation Sweepstakes! Learn more at www.neamb.com/travel.
- Did you graduate last spring and now you’re worried about your student loan payments kicking in? We can help you learn how to lower your monthly payments and even how to qualify for student loan forgiveness—just go to www.neamb.com/studentloans
- Protecting yourself and your family is so important that we have a new section of our website dedicated to helping you figure out how. Learn more through articles such as Moments that Matter and Five Money Mistakes to Avoid. Don’t forget to make sure your life insurance beneficiary information is up-to-date at www.neamb.com/protect.
NEA members who make a pledge to “Keep on Course” can enter to win a new Jeep® Compass* from California Casualty.
Educators lead extremely busy lives, but the worst time to multi-task or let the mind wander is when they are behind the wheel. From smartphones to navigation devices, new technology is a dangerous temptation for drivers to take their eyes off the road. Tending to passengers, eating or drinking or checking one’s appearance are also risks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warns that 3,100 people each year lose their life in a motor vehicle crash involving distracted driving.
NEA MB and the NEA Auto & Home Insurance Program provider, California Casualty, are working hard to end dangerous habits behind the wheel. California Casualty is rewarding NEA members who make a promise to drive safely with the chance to win a new Jeep® Compass. All it takes is a visit to www.WinAJeepCompass.com/NEA before October 4, 2020.
“Your safety is important to us,” said California Casualty Sr. Vice President Mike McCormick. “We appreciate everything you do and we know that your commitment extends beyond school to your home and family.”
Life is hectic enough without the after-effect of a car crash. K-12 educators that are NEA members can join the drive to “Keep on Course” and be entered to win at www.WinAJeepCompass.com/NEA. The campaign will run from January 1, 2020 through October 4, 2020. The winner will be announced in October or November.
Educators can take the safe driving effort into their classrooms with the free evidence-based materials from Impact Teen Drivers at www.impactteendrivers.org.
California Casualty has been serving the needs of educators since 1951 (since 1988 with the IEA) and is the only auto and home insurance company to earn the trust and endorsement of the NEA. As a result, NEA members qualify for exceptional rates, deductibles waived for vandalism or collisions to your vehicle parked at school, holiday or summer skip payment plans and free Identity Defense protection – exclusive benefits not available to the general public. Learn how to save by getting a quote at www.neamb.com/autohome, or by calling 1.800.800.9410.
*Jeep is not a participating partner in or sponsor of this contest.
The new LTOs program gives you access to ever-changing Limited Time Offers from top retailers. Get exclusive deals negotiated just for NEA members, plus “best-of-the-web” discounts you’ll love! Hurry, deals go fast! Visit www.neamb.com/LTOs.
We all make these promises to ourselves at the beginning of a new year. And…invariably we, maybe as soon as two weeks later, have broken that “new year’s resolution” and gone back to our norm. BUT – THIS NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION, if you keep it and “keep on” keeping it will save you money BECAUSE YOU ARE A MEMBER OF THE IEA/NEA.
IEA members have provided great examples of the savings they have experienced using the IEA’s Educator Access Discount Program: $200 savings on a trip to Orlando; a $230 room in Hawaii for $95; $100 savings at the Anniversary Inn in Boise; two for one pizzas; $645 savings on a rafting trip! Here’s an interesting fact: From June to November 2019, IEA members saved collectively $24,266 using this IEA Member Benefit!
You can enjoy similar savings: go to the IEA Member Benefits website, www.ieamemberbenefits.org scroll down and click on the picture of the IEA membership card to take you to the Access website. Register with the last 7 digits of your membership card number (hint – you will find the same number on the mailing label on any mailing you receive from NEA), your personal e-mail address, and create a password. You only need to register once. Each time thereafter you sign in with your e-mail and password. Begin to search and take advantage of the 350,000 discounts available nationwide. (There is also a free mobile app available for your assistance. Follow the instructions on the website to download. The app is GPS friendly and will alert you to local discounts wherever you are!)
Other ways to save with Member Benefits discounts: (EXAMPLES)
- NEA Click and Save:
- Save on brand-name merchandise from more than 800 top retailers, online stores and local merchants.
- Find exclusive savings on clothing, electronics, restaurants, jewelry, movie tickets and more.
- Receive advance notice of upcoming sales and special events in your area.
- TicketsatWork.com (inquire of IEA Member Benefits about using this benefit – 1-800-223-6583; 208-344-8336):
- Save up to 50% on lift tickets at ski resorts nationwide.
- Universal Studios Hollywood – save up to 25%.
- Legoland California – save up to 45%.
- Sporting events nationwide – save up to 50%.
- Six Flags theme parks – save up to 45%
- Vegas, NYC shows, etc. – save dozens of $$.
- NEA Vacations:
- Discounts on hotels, resorts, cruises, guided tour, air fare.
Check out all NEA Member Benefits discounts at www.neamb.com > What We Offer.
REPEAT AFTER ME: I do solemnly swear, that I will use my NEA/IEA Member Benefits discount programs forever, and save oodles of money, and ENJOY EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!!
NEA Click & Save is an online shopping platform that brings you exclusive savings on brand-name merchandise from hundreds of top retailers, online stores and local merchants. You’ll save on clothing, electronics, restaurants, home items, movie tickets and more. As an NEA member, you’ll receive extra discounts on top of public savings at more than 30,000 brands, merchants and retailers.
You’ll also earn WOWPoints every time you shop through NEA Click & Save, which you can then use for additional savings on purchases.
WOWPoints are loyalty points that you can earn and redeem when you shop through NEA Click & Save. Redeem the WOWPoints you earn from shopping at a wide variety of shops and on whatever it is you love: travel, electronics, apparel, movies, gifts and more. Earning 10x WOWPoints is like getting 10% back on your purchase.
To tap into all the savings opportunities, just log in to www.neamb.com, register if you haven’t already, click on “What We Offer“ > Online Shopping > “Start Shopping” and you’re ready to shop.
Using this IEA benefit you can save on groceries, automotive services, hotels, apparel, electronics, department stores, dining, movies, recreation, entertainment, travel, etc.
It’s simple! Go to the IEA website (www.idahoea.org) or the IEA Member Benefits website (www.ieamemberbenefits.org), find the picture of the IEA membership card (click). This takes you to the online site for the Educator Access Discount. Register with your member number (if you don’t know it, the IEA can help) and the email that the IEA has for you, and you are ready to start saving. You can also acquire the mobile app when you are on the site so that you can learn where savings are when you are out and about.
Enjoy the savings, and Happy Holidays.