AFA Council 27 Boston

October 12, 2016

Inside this issue:Open Enrollment for Insurance
Last two days to vote for Council 27 Officers

Annual Benefits Open Enrolment 2017

Open Enrolment for active employees:  Opens October 10, 2016 and closes October 28, 2016.

A Benefits Decision Guide has been mailed to all employees, including Flight Attendants, with an overview of the 2017 enrolment process.  This guide is a general overview of the changes for all Flight Attendants.  Go to Your Benefits Resources-YBR for detailed information about plan summaries specific to Flight Attendants and details on premium costs.  Please note, there is a separate Benefits Guide, specific for International and Guam based Flight Attendants.  

Your Benefits Committee will be in the Domicile on various days between October 12-26, bringing an awareness of the Benefits Enrolment process and assisting Members with the Benefits resources.

Resources to help with your decision-making:

  • Flying Together>Employee Services>Benefits-YBR.
  • Power Point slide presentation which will be emailed to you via your corporate webmail address.  Flight Attendants will be directed to United’s Learning Network, 'TakeOff' to view the presentation specifically targeted to pmUA Flight Attendants.
  • United Benefits Center (USA) 1-800-651-1007

A Few Highlights and Changes:

Domestic Partnership Expanded:  Starting January 1, 2017, United is expanding and extending benefits to all domestic partners (and their children) to enrol in United’s Medical, Dental and Vision Benefits.  This is regardless of gender for those in a domestic partnership.  To qualify for domestic partnership, you must meet United’s guidelines which are available on the YBR website.

Company Paid Life Insurance is $40,000 for the Flight Attendant.  In addition, there is $3,500 for your spouse and $1,500 for each child.  This is provided at no cost to the Flight Attendant. 

Group Universal Life (GUL) Insurance is a voluntary insurance which allows you the ability to draw down your life insurance benefit in the case of a terminal diagnosis with less than 24 months to live.  You decide on how much coverage you would like, but premiums are based on your age and any wage increases to your yearly salary.  Starting in 2017 United’s life insurance administrator Minnesota Life will transition to Securian (their parent company).

Long Term Disability-LTD:  Long Term Disability insurance is Contractual and provides income protection if you are disabled, can no longer work and are under a doctor’s care.  This Benefit is provided for 2 years if you can no longer work as a Flight Attendant, and up to age 65 if you can no longer do any job for which you are trained or qualified.  Flight Attendants will have four options for LTD coverage:

  • 120 days waiting period with 60% of salary benefit
  • 180 days waiting period with 50% of salary benefit
  • 180 days waiting period with 60% of salary benefit
  • 270 days waiting period with 50% of salary benefit

If you are already enrolled in LTD, you can change to any of the four options available at Open Enrolment.

It is extremely important that our benefits are protected by Contract Language.  Section 29 of the CBA outlines Benefits for all Flight Attendants including: Medical, Dental, Vision, Long Term Disability, Life Insurance and Retirement. 

AFA strongly recommends that all Flight Attendants go through the process of reviewing their insurance benefits and their beneficiaries, even if no changes are being made.  Your AFA MEC Benefits Committee has worked hard to maintain our insurance benefits though the CBA and will continue to advocate in your best interest.

Other News…

Insurance Premium Arrears Notification for Active Flight Attendants

Starting in August 2016, United has changed its policy regarding employees who build an arrears balance for insurance premiums.  After reaching an arrears balance of $750 or more for a period of two months while on active status, the employee will be directly billed for their premiums. 

There is a 45-day grace period for a payment to be received from the payment date shown on the invoice.  Payments can be made online with AON Hewitt direct billing using an electronic payment from a checking/savings account.  You can also pay by cheque.  There is no option to pay using a credit card.  An employee must pay the entire amount due by the due date to avoid cancellation of benefits.  There is no an ability to pay only a portion of the amount due.

Only Health and Welfare (Insurance) benefits are included in this new process (not pass travel).  Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is not included, as it is not subject to arrears processing.  There is still no availability for an employee to make payments before one gets to the $750/two-month threshold.

Letters are being sent to employees who met the threshold in August, and for those who will do so in the future.  Flight Attendants have long asked for the ability to pay their insurance premiums when they do not have enough money in their paychecks to cover the premiums.  As this is a new process, please let the Benefits Committee know if there are any issues with this new system of direct billing.

Voting Closes in 2 days

  The voting for Council 27 Officers closes at 12n on Thursday, October 14th, and the tally commences immediately afterward.  There are 7 terrific candidates for Council Rep, and that number alone would make some much larger councils jealous.  You can vote for 2 Council Reps and 1 person for the other three open positions.  Please take the three minutes and vote, as these Flight Attendants are willing to give of their time and energy for the benefit of all of us in Boston.  If. you have not received, or have lost your ballot, then call membership services at 1 800-424-2401 ext.706  0930-5pm to receive instructions.

Enjoy the fall colors, they leave too soon.

Andrew    Jerome   Cameron   Craig   Graham

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