Reminder: Vote on proposed health-care change

Guild members will vote Tuesday on the proposed switch to a new health care plan. The vote will be from noon to 2 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. in the Executive Conference Room.

The company’s proposal involves moving to a Blue Shield of Northeastern New York plan. The Guild’s executive board recommends a yes vote.

In most ways, the two plans are similar. The deductible will stay at $750, and the company will cover the rest of the deductible up to $2,000 for an individual and $4,000 for a family. Once that cap is reached, people will pay up to 10 percent of their medical costs with a cap again of $2,000 for an individual and $4,000 for a family. Medical expenses after that are fully covered.

The main difference with the Blue Shield plan is that rather than pay 10 percent for office, urgent care and emergency room visits, employees would pay a flat $20 for office visits, $50 for urgent care visits and $75 for emergency room visits.

In many cases, especially doctor visits, that flat fee might be more expensive than the 10 percent would be. Those payments, however, would be counted toward the cap under the 90/10 split. That means the maximum liability for an employee would not increase.

In addition, medications would also count toward the cap under the 90/10 split, which is not the case under the current plan. For members with chronic illnesses that require regular medication, this could lower costs a bit.

The out-of-pocket cost for the employee share would rise a little over $2 a week – a total of $107 for the year. This figure includes both medical and dental coverage. The weekly contribution would rise from the current $35.70 a week to $37.76.

Employees must be members in good standing to be eligible to vote, which means either paid up in dues or signed up for a payment plan. You can pay back dues right before voting.

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