Insurance trust offers great benefitsby Chris Dugovich, Council 2 President/Executive Director on October 21, 2013
COUNCIL 2 OFFERS a cost-effective service to its members, but it seems to be hidden.
The state council operates a non-profit insurance trust through the trusteeship of its three elected officers – Vice-President Ron Fredin, Secretary-Treasurer Kathleen Etheredge and I. The trust offers, on a group basis, 10 dental plans, two vision plans, two long-term disability plans and five levels of term life insurance.
The trust, created in the late 60s, was, and still is, intended to provide the best benefits to members on a bargaining unit basis at the lowest possible cost. Naturally, more participants in the plan will reduce the cost — giving all participants the greatest benefit for their dollars.
Unlike other insurance benefit plans, our trust covers all the cost of preventive care (exams, cleaning, and so on).
Our 10 dental plans offer benefit options to match your employer’s ability to pay. With the exception of Plan 10, our payments per individual procedure are a set amount with frequent upgrades. Plan 10 pays benefits on a usual, reasonable and customary basis rather than a scheduled payment. In addition to the 100 per cent preventive care ,this plan pays 80 per cent for basic services, 50 per cent for major services and 50 per cent of orthodontia up to $2,000. These benefits are paid no matter the actual cost, up to a $2,000 calendar-year maximum.
Vision insurance is provided through the Northwest Benefit Network. It covers exams, glasses and an amount toward contacts. The trust offers two plans at $15.90 and $18.75 a month. The benefits themselves are provided through an extensive list of optometrists and opticians throughout the state.
Long-term disability insurance is a benefit that really has not yet come to the forefront, although it’s extremely important. Generally, this coverage kicks in for an illness or injury that keeps you from the ability to work. It’s salary insurance!
Although the State’s Labor and Industries insurance offers you coverage for an on-the-job injury, the trust’s disability insurance augments this coverage and will pay in many instances when the state plan will not. It also covers you for either an illness or injury off the job. The trust offers two plans. Plan I requires a 90-day and Plan II a 180-day waiting period after injury or illness.
The programs are competitively priced at $32 a member a month (90-day) and $25 a member a month (180-day).
The trust’s newest program is group term life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance. In reviewing our collective bargaining agreements across the state, we noticed many employers offer little in life insurance. We offer five levels of coverage from $10,000 to $100,000. The premiums range from $4.20 to $42 per member a month.
How does my Local participate?
Two ways! The first is to make your choice of the coverages as a proposal during your next set of contract negotiations and gain the agreement of the employer to pay the premium. Additionally, by a simple majority vote of your local membership you can participate in the plan.
Keep in mind that all members of your local must participate whether or not they voted for the plan, and you will need to gain your employer’s agreement to deduct the premium from your pay. If your local is interested in pursuing these coverages or you need additional information, ask your Staff Representative or call Council 2.