Open Season, Events, and PSE Insurance

Open Season for Postal and Federal Employees Health Benefits will be November 14th- December 12th and I urge all of you to compare APWU Health Plan options to your current coverage. High Option is best compared to a high or standard coverage plan and Consumer Driven Option is best compared to consumer and basic plans. For those of you with Medicaid Part B, the APWU High Option integrates with Medicaid Part B resulting in most doctor visits costing you nothing.

The APWU Health Plan is owned collectively by all our APWU brothers and sisters and not driven by profit. As Director of the APWU Heath Plan, I am constantly focused on providing your family expansive health care coverage for the most affordable price. We look forward to the training of our local leaders and health plan representatives at the APWU Health Plan Open Season Seminar October 17th -20th and to a successful open season.

The APWU Health Plan is a way for our members to get great health coverage for an affordable price as well as a great organizing tool for our locals, states and chapters. I hope to see you all at the Open Season Seminar. For details, please go to apwu.org and look for national events at the bottom of the homepage.

I wanted to get some information out to clarify some confusion. First, if a PSE chooses the USPS PSE insurance it is NOT APWU Consumer Driven Option insurance. What has caused some misunderstanding is that both the rudimentary USPS PSE insurance and the comprehensive Consumer Driven Option use the same United Health Care physician and hospital network.

Secondly, some PSE’s have signed up for the USPS PSE insurance and have been shocked at the high cost for self plus one and family coverage. There is a low cap on the amount of money the USPS will pay for the USPS PSE health insurance and that makes family coverage for USPS PSE insurance effectively unaffordable.

APWU Health Plan as a Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) provider cannot offer insurance to PSE’s until they serve 360 days with no more than a 5 day break in service. Once a PSE has met this requirement, they have 60 days to sign up for APWU Consumer Driven Option (CDO) insurance with the USPS paying 75% of the premiums. If they choose another FEHB plan, the USPS will pay nothing. Some of the advantages of switching to CDO from USPS PSE insurance is more comprehensive coverage, a lower deductible, affordable rates for families, 100% coverage for preventive care, maternity and tobacco cessation.

PSE’s can keep APWU Consumer Driven option insurance upon conversion to career status and in fact, the USPS will pay 95% of the premiums for a career employee with over a year of coverage by a FEHB plan like the APWU Consumer Driven Option.

Finally if a PSE has USPS PSE insurance and upon conversion to regular does not choose a FEHB plan like APWU High or Consumer Driven Option within the allotted time frame the PSE’s USPS insurance will be dropped. The USPS is not doing a good job of educating employees on their benefits but our union will do the best we can to educate and serve the membership.

Have a wonderful Fall and I’ll see you at the Health Plan Seminar!

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