After consulting carefully with our members, the Guild chose Thursday to keep a composite rate for health care in 2015.
That means the cost will go up from $49.02 a week for every employee to $55.67. We’ll be covered by the same Blue Shield plan with the deductible remaining $750.
If we had switched to single, married and family rates, the cost would have phased in over three years. In the first year, the cost would have been $45.22 for singles, $53.09 for two, and $60.67 for families.
The Company provided estimates for the subsequent two years, but those are based on health insurance rates not increasing. In the second year, singles would have paid $34.80, doubles would have paid $50.79 and families $66.16. In the third year — again, not counting any increases in annual cost — the price would have been $24.69 for singles, $48.54 for couples and $71.49 for families.
“We recognize and respect that singles continue to help subsidize others,” Guild President Tim O’Brien said. “We also know that health insurance means those of us who are lucky to be well are subsidizing our colleagues who are not so fortunate.”
In the end, members and the Executive Board thought that any such change should be part of a contract with raises, which we will continue to mobilize to achieve.
The Company had sought the change because it could potentially face a penalty under Obamacare next year. The new health care law says that the premium cannot be more than 9.5% of the lowest paid employee’s wage. One worker would’ve fallen below that standard.
It turns out that the one employee is not even on the Company’s insurance, and a $2.27 an hour raise would lift the worker above the level in question.