NARFE - Chapter 1936
N.W. Baltimore Metro Area, Maryland
                                             Barbara Cuffie 
               (410) 448-1824
                                           Bessie Johnson
             (301) 925-8652


Meeting Information:  Monaghan's Pub 2121 Gwynn Oak Ave, Gwynn Oak, MD 21207.  First Monday except Jan. and Sept. then 2nd Monday; 12 noon for group lunch and 1 p.m. for meeting; Private Dining Room; No meeting in July and August (Inclement Weather Notice:  If Baltimore County Schools are delayed or closed the meeting will be cancelled)


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Maryland Income Taxes Again

by Dick Strombotne

 (written and published in another chapter's website but important info for those who will be most impacted by the changes in tax law when filing MD Tax return for 2018)

If you usually claim the standard deduction on your Maryland income taxes, you can skip this article. It is intended to inform and advise people who usually claim itemized deductions on Maryland income taxes.

What is the problem? The big increase in the standard deduction on Federal tax makes it attractive for people to claim it for 2018. It saves money on federal taxes. If you do that then you cannot claim itemized deductions on your MD taxes. You can estimate how much your MD state and local taxes will increase easily. Look up the amount of itemized deductions on the MD tax return for 2017 Subtract the amount of MD standard deduction: $4,500 for joint filers and $2,250 for single filers. Multiply the result by 8%. That is the amount of the increase in your MD state and local taxes for 2018, roughly. If you don’t like the result, read on.

Let your state legislators know that they need to roll back the increase in MD state and local income taxes on people who claim the Federal standard deduction. The Maryland General Assembly goes into its 90-day session January 9, just two days before our January 11 membership meeting. Call the toll-free number for the General Assembly, 1-800-492-7122, and tell the operator who you want to speak to. When you call a legislator’s office a staff member will usually answer. Say who you are and that you are concerned about not being able to claim itemized deductions on your Maryland taxes.

Key legislators are members of the House Ways and Means Committee (HW&M) and the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee (SB&T.) The Chair of SB&T is Senator Nancy King, District 39. The Chair of HW&M is Del. Anne Kaiser, District 14. Delegate-elect Julie Palakovitch Carr, District 17, will be a new member of HW&M. These senators and delegates have fellow members from their districts who can be called and asked to support legislation to fix the problem.

After legislation is introduced to address the problem there will be hearings by the relevant committees. Usually, there is only about two weeks’ notice of hearings. It is vitally important that NARFE members be present at those hearings to let the committee members know that the matter is important. You can park at the Navy-Marine stadium lot for $5 and ride a shuttle to the General Assembly area of Annapolis for $1. Hearings usually are scheduled to start at 1:00 pm and there is no telling when the bill of interest will be heard. Look for an email message from Chapter President Charlie Garfinkel to inform you about the key hearings. The website for Maryland General Assembly is at

It is a marvelous source of information about committees, legislators, reports, etc.


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Dear Members of NARFE Chapter 1936

It’s been a very long time since I communicated with you, and I hope you are well and had a very enjoyable summer vacation.  Our next meeting will be on this coming Monday, September 10, 2018 at noon.  We will gather for lunch in the private dining room of Monaghan’s Pub at 2121 Gwynn Oak Ave. Baltimore, MD 21207.  I hope you are planning to participate since the meeting will not be nearly as uplifting and interesting without you.  As usual, we will order our food from the menu, and I’m asking you to come prepared to pay cash for your meal, including tax and gratuity.  The waitress will only provide one bill per table so you will need to bring some small bills and possibly some change to cover your lunch expense. 

I am excited to inform you that we will have the President, Dr. Gary Roundtree, Sr. and First Vice President, Dr. Sudha Haley, from the MD Federation of Chapters as our presenters at this first meeting of the 2018 – 2019 season.  I want to thank Martha Bouis who has done an outstanding job serving as our Program Manager for several years.  She is a tough act to follow but with your help, I will try to invite interesting and informative speakers each month throughout this year.  I am still working on our program for our October 1st meeting. We will have several health care providers come to our November 5th meeting to inform us of many of the changes in the FEHB Health Plans beginning in January 2019.  This is always a well-attended meeting.  Our December 3rd meeting is always a fun social meeting where we have catered meal, door prizes, games, songs and a good old time together.  I am open to hearing your suggestions for 2019 topics and presenters.

We still have some key vacancies that still need to be filled.  One of the most important openings that we need to fill is for a newsletter editor.  Perhaps you could help us to produce at least one newsletter every 2 to 3 months between October and June.  I will gladly write a President’s Message for each of the newsletters.  We need an editor and a newsletter team to handle the many tasks involved in producing such an important document regularly.   Be sure to visit our chapter website and the NARFE Headquarters website often to stay abreast of what’s happening in NARFE and action items that need your attention.

Please contact me at 410.448.1824 if you have ideas to share or have decided to volunteer to lend a helping hand.  Bessie Johnson and I are trying to make our chapter GREAT, but we need your help.  Most of us have multiple priorities, health issues, aches and other stuff to do.  Sometimes I procrastinate and need a little push to get going to do the things I have committed to do. NARFE is losing numbers and we must turn on our recruitment efforts to retain our clout in Congress.  This administration just seems not to like federal employees.  We need to work hard to increase our numbers so that our elected officials will listen more intently when we share our concerns with them. We hope to see you on Monday.

Sincerely, Barbara Cuffie and Bessie Johnson


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 Contacting Aetna Through Online Portal

With the goal of providing excellent customer care, Aetna has developed new ways for NARFE members to get personalized help. Through our new AetnaFedsLive online portal, your members can connect live with our team to get the personal help they need, when they need it. Please forward this email to the members in your Chapter or Federation to ensure they get the level of support they deserve.

With AetnaFedsLive, you have different ways to connect with us and learn about health insurance options:

  • Chat online: Ask questions about the Aetna Direct plan.  Aetna Direct is designed for federal retirees with Medicare Parts A & B and offered through the FEHB program.
  • Schedule an online appointment for personalized support: For more than a quick chat, schedule a one-on-one appointment with a team member to talk about your options. You can even handpick the person you’d like to meet with.
  • Attend live webinars: Tune in for live, interactive webinars hosted by Aetna’s federal team members. There’s one about retirement and the Aetna Direct plan.

Don’t wait, visit today to check out our resources and connect with a team member. We’re here to help you. 

Susan Allgood AetnaLive 1-877-459-6604

Susan Allgood, PLS Account Director

Susan Allgood is a former "Navy wife" who now lives with her husband in Cross Plains, TN. She loves collecting Hummel figurines and being a fun Nana to her grandchildren. Susan is known to be a good listener, and she has a passion for helping people understand their health insurance. She’s always ready to explain how you can save money with our Aetna Direct plan. Outside of work, you can find Susan riding motorcycles or vacationing anywhere that has a beach.

Schedule a one-on-one with Susan »

Health and dental benefits plans are offered, underwritten or administered by: Aetna Health Inc., Aetna Health of California Inc., and/or Aetna Life Insurance Company.

This is a brief description of the features of the Aetna plans. Before making a decision, please read the plan’s applicable federal brochure(s). All benefits are subject to the definitions, limitations and exclusions set forth in the federal brochure. Plan features and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Provider participation may change without notice. For more information about Aetna plans, refer to

Help/Contact us:
If you have any questions, please Contact Us


 Good morning, everyone.

As I’m sure you saw on the functional organization chart distributed at the beginning of December, and as I have discussed on a couple of occasions, the staff is now organized into four main teams:

  1. Advocacy (formerly Legislation), led by Staff VP Jessica Klement
  2. Communications, led by Staff VP Susan Boswell
  3. Finance and Administration (new), led by a staff VP to be hired mid-2018
  4. Marketing and Member Resources (formerly Marketing), led by Staff VP Bridget Boel

Please refer to the org chart to see which staff functions are within each team.  The only staff who are not currently part of one of those four teams are Governance Coordinator Lynette Green, Executive Assistant Towanda Franklin and HR Business Partner Stuart Wales.

These are for all practical purposes effective immediately, and you should begin using the new team names and titles.  I realize it will be a while before everyone gets used to this, but the names have been changed for good reasons, tied back to the strategic plan, so I encourage  you to be mindful and use the new names and titles.


Barb Sido
Executive Director
2018 NARFE Functional Organizational Chart Page 1 & 2 (Click below to enlarge)

NARFE Is Recruiting Eligible Members

NARFE Is Recruiting Eligible Members

You might be wondering who or what is NARFE and why should I care? Membership in the National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) Association is open to any person who is currently employed by the federal government or now receiving a monthly annuity based on previous employment with the federal government. Spouses, widows or widowers of such individuals are also eligible to join NARFE. If you are eligible to join NARFE, but want to know more about the organization, I encourage you to check us out via the internet at to get a better appreciation of how joining NARFE will be very beneficial to you even if you never attend one of the meetings of the local chapter, I am one of the Co-Presidents of the Northwest Baltimore Metro Chapter 1936.