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Group Universal Life (GUL) Coverage – An Overview

Date: February 14, 2023

Group Universal Life (GUL) Coverage – An Overview

MEC Benefits Committee

Section 29.G. of our Contract establishes the requirement for Life Insurance for active and certain retired Flight Attendants as part of their total retirement package. The company provides $40,000 of Life Insurance to Active employees and $10,000 Retiree Life Insurance to pmUA Flight Attendants.

In addition, Group Universal Life Coverage (GUL) is to be offered to all eligible Flight Attendants which includes all new hire Flight Attendants and any Flight Attendant returning to active service from any Leave of Absence. Flight Attendants returning from any Leave of Absence will be auto-enrolled in coverage and notified by Securian of the 45-day window to decline coverage.

We currently have thousands of Members enrolled in our Contractually provided GUL insurance on a voluntary basis. Because this Contract life insurance is a group plan it has very reasonable premiums and is age banded.

We have received questions on the auto-enrollment feature, many asking why auto-enrollment is part of this negotiated benefit. From our perspective, the question is better asked from an alternate perspective; why not have the “auto enroll “ program for AFA Members returning from any Leave of Absence, including COLAs?

The thought behind the “auto enroll” feature is to prevent Members from losing their coverage after returning from taking time off—be it for personal or medical reasons. At the same time, this provides an automatic opportunity for Members to obtain this benefit and provide for the security of their family.  Most life insurance policies require physical examinations before reinstatement of coverage after taking time off. In this instance, the Contractual “auto-enroll” feature eliminates this requirement.

Members are enrolled in coverage at four times their annual salary where “salary” in this instance is defined as 85 hours multiplied by the Flight Attendant’s hourly rate of pay. This benefit is paid to your designated beneficiary in the event of your death.

Conversely, we have worked with management and Securian to allow Members to CANCEL/DECLINE this coverage online. Once you return to work you have 45 days to CANCEL/DECLINE coverage. All Members receive a letter from United and Securian once their LOA has ended and the letter provides instructions on your 3 options: increase coverage, decrease coverage or CANCEL/DECLINE coverage.

We encourage Members to review their pay advice monthly (“GUL – Post tax”) to determine if coverage is in place. We cannot stress enough; coverage is voluntary with the “auto enroll” feature occurring on employment or when returning from any Leave of Absence, including a COLA.

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

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