Happy Veterans Day

As a Navy veteran, today holds a very special meaning to me and my fellow brothers and sisters who served our country in uniform. I was one of the lucky ones. I received great training in the Navy’s Nuclear Power Program, served on board the USS California for multiple deployments and upon discharge, I was able to enjoy civilian life with my wife and three children. Too many of our veterans were not as fortunate as I and live with the consequences of honorably serving in our military. I think about that every day.

APWU-VETSI have been blessed with a great career with the US Postal Service and am now honored to serve my union family as the Director of our Health Plan. Join me and our entire team at APWUHP by appreciating the vets in your life.

Happy Veterans Day. Today and every day. Click here to see our special Veterans Day tribute.

Sincerely,
John L. Marcotte
APWU Health Plan Director

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APWU ALL Craft Convention

Our parent organization, the American Postal Worker Union, recently had the biannual ALL-Craft Convention. This is an educational gathering of more than 2,000 delegates from all over the country. We added to the education process by sending a highly trained team focused on member education which was well received by all. The APWU Health Plan seized on this marketing opportunity by working with our vendor Cigna to provide T-shirts to every employee registered for this event. These well designed and popular shirts will be worn in postal workplaces throughout America thus keeping the APWU Health Plan on the minds of potential new members. Just another way we are constantly focused on serving our current members at a high level, growing and strengthening the APWU Health Plan.

 

How to Obtain TCC if you are a Separating Employee

If you lose your FEHB coverage because you leave your Federal job, you are eligible for TCC unless your separation is involuntary due to gross misconduct. Otherwise, the reasons for your separation don’t matter. Your Human Resources Office must notify you within 61 days after your regular FEHB enrollment terminates of your opportunity to enroll under TCC (temporary continuation of coverage). Generally, you have 60 days after getting the notice or 60 days after separation, whichever is later, to enroll under TCC. https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/healthcare/temporary-continuation-of-coverage/#url=Eligibility

In most instances, if you are on LWOP over a year the USPS will stop paying for your FEHB health benefits. This can also affect your getting health benefits in retirement due to the 5 year rule.

Even if you go over a year in LWOP status you have certain rights, one of those rights is to a Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC). This is similar to COBRA coverage but postal and federal workers are not eligible for COBRA but are eligible for TCC.

 

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.