Teamsters Local 117 members at Pierce County have voted overwhelmingly to switch to the Teamsters Health and Welfare plan, a move that provides members with better medical coverage in the form of comparable care with lower deductibles and co-payments at a reduced cost to the County.
“I’m so thankful that the Union was able to negotiate with Pierce County and make the change to the Washington Teamsters Welfare Trust,” said County employee Becky Little. “Our medical coverage is better than ever and our members saved a minimum of $600 per year, and I was able to save $2,000 on medical premiums for 2010.”
All told, the switchover will save Teamsters over $430,000 in 2010. If other represented employees switch to the Teamsters medical plan, it will save nearly all represented employees an estimated $1.9 million on their health care premiums.
This move also saves the County money. The change is expected to save the County over $90,000 on Teamster represented employees and over $400,000 if other represented employees switch to the Teamsters medical plan. Coverage under the new plan took effect on January 1, 2010 for approximately 333 Pierce County employees represented by the Teamsters.
The change comes after months of tough negotiations between the Union and County representatives. The County came to the table having budgeted zero percent (0%) for health insurance premium increases in 2010 and took the position that its employees should be responsible for shouldering nearly the entire increase – $3.6 million – in the form of monthly premium sharing.
County officials invited the Union to find a plan that would help cut costs and moderate the effects of the financial crisis. The Local 117 bargaining committee responded by proposing a switch to the Teamsters plan, which benefits both Pierce County employees and the County’s bottom line.
“We presented them with a detailed comparison between the Regence Medical plan and the Teamsters plan, which plainly shows that the Teamsters plan is more cost-effective, while at the same time, providing better care for our members and other eligible represented employees,” said Teamsters Local 117 Public Sector Coordinator Mary Ann Brennan.
If you are a Teamsters Local 117 member at Pierce County and have specific questions about medical claims, benefits, or the eligibility of coverage under the new plan, contact Northwest Administrators at 206-726-3277 or 800-458-3053.
For questions about vision claims, call 206-726-3278 or 800-732-1123. You can also print your temporary medical card, get copies of the plan booklet, and track medical claims by logging onto Northwest Administrator’s website at www.nwadmin.com.
For other questions, contact your Business Representative. If you know someone at Pierce County who may be interested in obtaining coverage under the new plan as well as other Teamster benefits, please refer them to the Teamsters Local 117 Organizing Department at 206-441-4860.