by Wisdom Lane Middle School Building Representative, Lynn Anderson
In this column, we will answer a few questions regarding health insurance and medical benefits.
Question: What are the provisions in our contract for medical benefits? Do members pay any costs? If so, how much?
Answer: Yes. As set forth in Article VIII, Section F of our contract, the school district pays a large percentage of our health insurance. The district will pay 80% of the premium if you choose coverage for you and your family and 85% of the premium on behalf of the individual if you choose coverage for just yourself. As of the writing of this article, the district provided health insurance is through the New York State Health Insurance Plan (NYSHIP)
Question: What if I choose not to take the district health insurance because I am covered under another plan?
Answer: If you forgo your district provided coverage for a full year, the district will compensate you within 30 days in a gross amount equal to 40% of the premium cost saved by the district, provided that your coverage is with a provider other than NYSHIP.
Question: Can the district change our health insurance carriers?
Answer: Yes. The district can change health insurance carriers as long as 30 days’ notice is given to the LUT prior to the district’s communication of its decision to the health insurance carrier. Any plan that the district might switch to must provide the same benefits and the same level of benefits that are provided in the current NYSHIP plan, except that the plan need not have a participating provider benefit.
Question: Is there a provision for medical benefits upon retirement? If so, how much does it cost for each retired member and their family?
Answer: As spelled out in Article IX of our contract, retirees shall be entitled to the same health insurance benefits upon the same conditions as provided to teachers. Teachers hired after July 1, 1988, shall be entitled to health insurance paid by the district in the following percentage: