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GUL Auto-Enrollment of Flight Attendants Returning from Leaves of Absence/Furlough

Date: January 12, 2018

MEC Benefits Committee

In recent weeks there has been a great deal of discussion about the reasons for and the process by which Flight Attendants are auto-enrolled in Group Universal Life Coverage (GUL) administered by Securian when returning from leaves of absence, furloughs or reinstatement from termination. Auto-enrollment occurs for Flight Attendants returning from Leaves of Absence who did not elect to maintain coverage while on Leave or who had not previously elected this coverage.  These individuals are enrolled in Group Universal Life Coverage under the same conditions as a new hire Flight Attendant.  With no requirement to provide Evidence of Insurability (EOI), Flight Attendants are automatically provided coverage at four (4) times their annual salary and $30,000 coverage for a spouse/domestic partner.  Additionally, if the Flight Attendant reduced her/his coverage below the default coverage limits, the auto-enrollment feature will “bump up” the coverage back up to four times the annual salary for the employee and $30,000 for the spouse or domestic partner. 

In every instance when coverage is reinstated through the auto-enrollment process, an enrollment package is mailed the following day directly to the employee at her/his address of record with United Airlines advising that auto-enrollment has occurred and the coverage that is being provided. 

You might ask why the Union would have negotiated the auto-enrollment feature for our Members.  The answer is very straight forward.  That is, for the protection of our Members.  The auto-enrollment feature along with no requirement to provide Evidence of Insurability ensures that our Members who may have received an adverse medical determination while out on leave are able to provide some level of financial security for their family. Along with this auto-enrollment feature, AFA negotiated a 45 day period following auto-enrollment during which the employee can cancel coverage without penalty and a guaranteed return of any premiums paid if cancelled during this period.  

In the event the Flight Attendant does not want this default GUL coverage, or wants to reduce it, they must respond to the enrollment kit received from Securian. To cancel or reduce coverage, a Flight Attendant can either go online to the Securian website (access through Flight Together under Employee Services, then YBR) and following the prompts.  Alternatively, by calling Securian at 1-866-887-1043 and completing the required cancellation form. Until the cancellation form is processed by Securian, payroll deductions continue. There is no refund for premiums paid until the cancellation of coverage is processed and a cancellation certificate, signed by the Flight Attendant, is returned and received by Securian.

Currently, our efforts are directed at ensuring the enrollment package sent to the employee is clearly identified for the employee receiving it.  We are also working to ensure that Flight Attendants who transition to a leave of absence while away from work are provided a copy of or notified that they should review the company’s Leave of Absence information packet to ensure they are familiar with their rights under the auto-enrollment feature.

If you have additional questions, please contact your Local Council Office.

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