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Update on Benefits Premium Arrears for those on Leaves of Absence

Date: August 29, 2020

Over the past several months, we’ve heard from many of you about the challenges you have faced in keeping current with your health care premiums while on leave of absence.  Part of the challenge in keeping current with premiums was the company policy that stated you would not be converted to direct bill status until two things occurred:

  1. Premium balance of $500 or more, and
  2. More than sixty (60) days elapsed without a payroll deduction

Our MEC Benefits Committee is pleased to report that, working with United’s Benefits representatives, that we have permanently resolved this issue.  Effective October 1, 2020, Flight Attendants on Special COLAs status will be direct billed for premiums starting on the effective day of the Special COLA.  We have successfully persuaded United management to eliminate the $500 arrears requirement after sixty (60) days.

In addition, it is important for Flight Attendants on voluntary furlough status to understand they will be placed on direct bill status, effective the date of the voluntary furlough.

Flight Attendants on involuntary furlough status will also be placed on direct bill status, effective the date of the involuntary furlough.

We strongly recommend that you establish a direct bill arrangement and have your premiums deducted directly from your bank account.  This will ensure uninterrupted coverage.  To participate in the online payment option, you will be required to set-up an account, and provide your payment information, such as checking account and routing numbers. Your payment can take up to two (2) days to register, so we encourage you to plan accordingly to avoid any disruption of your benefits. 

Contact your Local Council Benefits Committee with questions. 

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