Health care meeting Wednesday, vote Tuesday

Guild members will get a chance to ask questions about the proposed health-care plan at a meeting with the company’s insurance broker at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. A vote on the plan will be held from noon-2 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15. Both will occur in the executive conference room on the second floor.

The company’s proposal involves a switch to a Blue Shield of Northeastern New York plan.

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 or $107 for the year.

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