A Summer ‘To Do’
(This article first appeared in the July-August 2017 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine)
By Health Plan Director John Marcotte
Summer is upon us. With it comes vacations, picnics and long days filled with warm weather activities. While evaluating your family’s health care may not be on the top of your list of summertime “to dos,” now is the perfect time to see if the APWU Health Plan can better serve you, save you money or both.
Open enrollment season is a massive time-crunch not only for you, but also for FEHB health plan providers and USPS Human Resources. On top of that, it is the time when the Postal Service’s mail volume is highest for the busy holiday season. Things can get difficult if you wait until later this year to make an informed decision on the most important benefit in the APWU Collective Bargaining Agreement. If you do not have either of the APWU health plans, now is the time to compare a plan that, as a union member, you own to the plan you currently have.
You need to compare apples to apples with coverage, deductibles, copays, out-of-pocket limits and premiums to be able to make the best decision for you and your family. The APWU Health Plan is committed to serving our members because our members own it - not some Wall Street investment bank or stock holders.
Many APWU locals have health plan representatives trained at our yearly seminars to assist you. These are your coworkers who have an APWU Health Plan, not some paid marketing employee of a corporation.
If you don’t have a health plan representative in your local or you need further assistance, the APWU Health Plan is here to assist you. As director, I have committed our employees to give honest answers and straight talk concerning what our plans cover, costs and their availability. We want every member to have all the information necessary to make the best decision for their family.
Like all postal workers, I have watched as my health insurance premiums take a larger and larger part of my paycheck. We can no longer afford to blindly make a choice and hope we have adequate coverage, don’t overpay or both.
Enjoy the summer, spend quality time with friends and loved ones, and also take the time to compare the APWU Health Plan’s offerings to your current plan. It may be the most important thing you do this summer for yourself and your family.
Open Season Seminar
It is not too late for local, state and chapter leadership to sign up to attend the APWU Health Plan Open Season Seminar in beautiful St. Louis, MO. Our members look to their union leadership for answers to many benefit and workplace issues, and health care is no exception.
Understanding how the FEHB program insurances work, this year’s changes and the specific components of the APWU health plans will help you and benefit your fellow members.
The registration fee before July 15 is $75. Late registration is $100.
The seminar will take place at the Holiday Inn Express Downtown, St. Louis Convention Center, 811 N 9 Street. Room rates are $119 per night and include all meals. There will be a reception Monday evening, full breakfast, lunch and dinner Tuesday and Wednesday and full breakfast Thursday. Parking will be at a reduced rate of $10 per night.
Don’t delay! Go to www.apwuhp.com/events for more information.