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Annual Benefits Open Enrollment Oct 31-Nov 18 – Clearing Up Misconceptions

Date: November 10, 2022

We’ve received a number of questions arising from the 2023 Benefits Open Enrollment which have confirmed for us there are a number of misconceptions about the various benefits plans available.

The Benefits Committee asks that you direct your attention to Section 29 of our Contract which delineates the Union negotiated plans:  Core PPO, Core EPO, Core HDHP, Traditional PPO and HMOs.

Each plan has defined deductibles, out of pocket maximums, copays, wellness coverage, in-network/out of network costs and all of the features of the plans are outlined in Appendix A on pages 256-259.  The cost of the premiums is determined by a formula outlined in the Medical Rate Setting Letter of Agreement in the Contract.

Conversely, all other plans are company offered health & wellness plans.  Of notable distinction with these plans is that United management negotiates with the insurance companies to determine the terms of the plans with regard to deductibles, co-pays, out of pocket, in-network/out of-network costs and they set the premium rates.

Our Benefits Committee is aware there is some confusion surrounding the UNITED PPO, a company plan versus Traditional PPO, a plan negotiated by the Union. We want to eliminate any confusion; the UNITED PPO is not a Union negotiated plan. It is a management offered plan and the terms of the UNITED PPO plan are defined by the insurance company and United management.

We want to be clear; your MEC Benefits Committee is not taking a position as to whether any one plan is better than another.  We trust, based on having the right information, you are able to make those health & wellness selections that are best for you and your family.  We do, however, want to draw your attention to the various differences between the plans for your awareness during the annual selection process. For instance, some of the company offered plans do not cover Preventive Services (Contract pages 262-264) such as mammograms, physical exams, etc.

For these reasons, we strongly recommend that you do your research.  Explore the many choices, use the tools on Flying Together-YBR such as “find your doctor” and compare plans.  In addition, you can reach out to the United Benefits Service Center 800-651-1007 or call Accolade 844-252-6830 for additional support and assistance in understanding the various benefit packages available to you and your family during open enrollment.

Not wanting any Member to have “buyer’s remorse,” we remind you of the old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true—it probably is.”  Don’t hesitate to ask questions.

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