Puerto Rico

At the APWU National Convention in Orlando representatives from the Puerto Rico Local union asked that I investigate our network of doctors in Puerto Rico for the APWU Consumer Driven Option. Some members have reported that doctors listed in our online directory are refusing to accept the APWU Consumer Driven Health Plan.

The results of that investigation are as follows: Consumer Driven Health Plan Members in Puerto Rico can use the MAPFRE and UnitedHealthcare networks of providers. We have worked with United Health Care to send a letter to every member in Puerto Rico to inform them of details of their coverage and how physicians can verify that they are part of our network.

Anyone can download the letter that was mailed from UnitedHealthcare to all APWU Health Plan members in Puerto Rico for complete details. This letter is part of my ongoing efforts to improve APWU Health Plan member’s access to doctors and high quality health care in Puerto Rico. Updates to follow as they become available.

OPEN SEASON. That’s a wrap.

APWU Health Plan was on the mind of Federal and Postal Workers this Open Season thanks to our innovative advertising campaign.

Banners spanned the first and second floor of the APWU Headquarters building located on a buy commuter route in Washington D.C.image001

APWU Health Plan signs dominated the Navy Yard Metro Station by having all of the 90 signs in the station advertising the benefits and savings of APWU Health Plan insurance.

Twenty busses wrapped in APWU Health Plan logos traveled on routes all over Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C.

This adverting campaign also included cell phone notifications and internet advertising. The campaign was targeted to employees eligible for our health insurance who could enroll in our plans. Larger enrollment numbers makes the risk pool larger and allows the APWU Health Plan to charge the lowest premiums possible for comprehensive high quality health care.

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PSE ORIENTATION FOLDERS

The APWU has negotiated a ground breaking benefit for our PSE brothers and sisters. Once a PSE is reappointed after their first 360 day term, they are eligible to sign up for APWU Consumer Driven Option with the USPS paying 75% of the premiums!

To ensure eligible union members are aware of this benefit and to give them as much time as possible to secure high quality health care the APWU Health Plan is mailing PSE flyers directly to reappointed PSE’s.

While the folders sent to locals were well received, unfortunately in many locations the second orientation for health care was not made available by the USPS. This caused many PSE’s to have a very short window to sign up for APWU health insurance.

So to best serve the membership, folders will not be mailed to locals going forward and materials will be sent to the PSE directly. This change is to ensure that PSEs receive the information within their 60-day insurance enrollment eligibility window.

Those locals that would like folders for the second health plan orientation can obtain them by contacting the office of the director at 410-424-1504.

Thank you in advance for your support of the APWU Health Plan and our efforts to best serve the membership.

Open Season Starts Today. Enroll Now!

Are you interested in getting comprehensive health insurance at an affordable price in 2017? The APWU Health Plan is here for you!

The 2016 Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) Open Season starts today, November 14, 2016, and runs through December 12, 2016. During Open Season, eligible federal employees, federal retirees, and tribal employees can change their health plans. Now is a great time to evaluate your insurance plan, compare, and get the most for your health insurance dollars.

The APWU Health Plan encourages you to compare federal health plans before you make this important decision. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has a website to allow federal employees and retirees to do just that. FEHB Open Season Online https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/open-season/  allows you to compare FEHB plans, learn about enrollment, and premiums. To check if your doctor is in network just got to www.apwuhp.com. Our Open Season hotline is 800-PIC-APWU for any questions you may have. Learn about our Consumer Driven Option online at www.welcometouhc.com/apwu  or by calling 1-800-718-1299.

Are you currently an APWU Health Plan Member? Many eligible APWU Health Benefits Members could save money on their monthly premiums by switching to Self Plus One enrollment from family coverage. The Self Plus One enrollment type was new in 2016 and many did not change their coverage to cover just two family members. Still have questions about Self Plus One, visit www.opm.gov/selfplusone for more details.

Contact your HR Department today to switch plans before the Open Season Deadline on December 12th. Postal Employees can change enrollment online at https://liteblue.usps.gov .

Remember, if you do not want to change your present insurance coverage, your current coverage should continue automatically.

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!