Please save the dates for two important union events.
• We will be holding a health care Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, May 12, at 6 p.m. (click here to RSVP). Our union, as part of the Coalition of Rutgers Unions, negotiated lower health care costs for members who choose to switch into the NJ Direct/NJ Direct 2019 plan or the Omnia tiered network plan, and the special open enrollment period has begun. You can get answers at the town hall to your questions about the new plan, comparisons to other options, and how to enroll.
• Our union and the Coalition of Rutgers Unions (CRU) are holding an evening forum on Tuesday, May 18, at 6 p.m. (fill out this google form to get the Zoom information) with elected representatives to the New Jersey legislature. We’ve invited members of the Senate and General Assembly who sit on the Higher Education, Health, Labor and Budget Committees. The entire legislature is up for election this November, so come out and learn what these legislative leaders think about Rutgers and our work. Whether you are a New Jersey voter or not, these legislators are crucial in determining the future of Rutgers, and this will be an important opportunity to tell them about our priorities.
We wrote to you earlier this week about the special open enrollment period for the more affordable health care plans negotiated by CRU. We know the info sessions hosted by UHR this week have been a bit confusing and unwieldy, so here’s Becky’s cheat sheet.
We can’t fix the bigger problems with our health care system single-handedly, but we can help you navigate the bewildering array of options. We do encourage you to attend one of the final two sessions next week (May 11 at 2 p.m. and May 13 at 10 a.m.) with UHR, the State Division of Pensions and Benefits, and Horizon BCBS if you have specific questions for them—you can get the Webex information at the bottom of this webpage.
If you live in New Jersey, and especially if you live near New Brunswick and use Rutgers or RWJ/Barnabas physicians and facilities, Omnia may be a good plan for you. Two-thirds of all Horizon network providers are considered tier 1 under Omnia, so costs will actually be lower. If you are not in New Jersey, ALL out-of-state providers are tier 2, with higher costs, so Omnia is likely not a good choice.
If you are currently in NJ Direct 15 (as most of us are), you may consider changing to NJ Direct. This plan offers the SAME MEDICAL COVERAGE and SAME PROVIDER NETWORK as the current NJ Direct 15. The difference is that the premiums are much lower for the new plan (depending on your family size, you may save up to about $1,000 per year), and the co-pays and coinsurance are a little higher. The in- and out-of-network out-of-pocket maximums remain the same.
Regardless of which plan you are enrolled in, the State of New Jersey has partnered with a service called Amino, which has an app that can help you stay in-network while identifying high-quality providers. Click here to get started.
If you choose a new plan during this special open enrollment period, it will go into effect on July 1, 2021. After that, if you decide you are not happy with your choice, you can choose a different plan during the regular open enrollment period in the month of October, and the changes will go into effect on January 1, 2022.
Once more, here are the upcoming events where we hope to see you:
- Wednesday, May 12, 6 p.m. | Health Care Town Hall Meeting | Click here to RSVP
- Tuesday, May 18, 6 p.m. | CRU Legislative Forum | Fill out this google form to get the Zoom information
Todd and Becky
Todd Wolfson, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Rebecca Givan, Vice President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
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Watch Todd’s video on the battles for our union today.