Benefits Premiums for those on Special COLAs
July 11, 2020
Over the past couple of months, literally thousands of Flight Attendants have taken time away from work, foregoing their salary during this period of incredible adversity for our industry and our Company. During this time, many of you have expended inordinate periods of time talking to the Benefits Service Center trying to stay current with your benefit premiums only to be frustrated to learn that there is no mechanism in place for you to proactively pay your monthly premiums to ensure there is no lapse in or cancellation of coverage.
Your MEC Benefits Committee shares your frustration and has worked diligently to persuade the company to put in place a mechanism for employees to pay their monthly premiums, from the start of the Special COLA, using a credit card through some type of online portal. While we have had some success in getting the company to begin the billing for premiums at a lower arrearage threshold of $500 versus what was previously a $750 threshold, the interplay between United Payroll and the United’s Benefits Administrator continues to confound the process. The end result, despite best efforts to mitigate this from happening, when Members receive a bill for premiums, it is almost always a very large bill representing several months premiums,
We continue our work to press United management to implement an alternative method for paying for premiums. Without an improvement to the process, given the potentially large number of voluntary furloughs, we only expect this problem to increase exponentially putting the continued benefit coverage of our Members at risk. We understand your frustration and want you to know that continue pressing for a change to improve this process and provide you with some predictability as to when you will receive your premium billing.