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Tacoma Joint Labor - Health Insurance Update

After more than five months of negotiations, we are pleased to announce that the Joint Labor Committee has reached a tentative agreement with the City of Tacoma on health insurance for 2014.

After more than five months of negotiations, we are pleased to announce that the Joint Labor Committee has reached a tentative agreement with the City of Tacoma on health insurance for 2014. This agreement ensures that the City of Tacoma will pay 100% of the premium increases for 2014.  This one-year contract largely preserves the format and quality of the existing plans with a few modifications:

  • Both Regence and Group Health out of pocket maximum increases to $1,500/$3,000 (previously $1000/$3000 for Regence and $1000/$2000 for Group Health) this change is to be in compliance with mandated changes by the Affordable Care Act. However, all medical and prescription copays, deductibles and coinsurance will apply to the out-of-pocket maximum.
  • Both Regence and Group Health Emergency room co pay increases to $150 (previous $75) However, if you are admitted it is waived. There are many urgent care facilities that if utilized, this copay does not apply.
  • Regence Brand formulary co pay goes to $35 (previously $25) and Brand non-formulary co pay goes to $60 (previously $50).

This agreement promises to create a Joint Labor and Management health care committee, with the following commitments:

  1. Both Labor and Management from Tacoma Joint Labor will join and become members of the Puget Sound Health Alliance. This Alliance is a valuable tool to ensure we have most current information to formulate our future wellness plans.
  2. The committee will meet to develop strategy on wellness; this will be completed by February 2014.
  3. Develop monthly or bimonthly newsletters to help educate and encourage the City employees.
  4. Develop communication plan for rolling out the wellness assessment tool, this shall include incentive options that could include multiple years. This shall be established no later than March 2014. Labor agrees to discuss utilization of the 6430-FLEX account as a mechanism for possible first year incentives for completion of the wellness assessment.
  5. Review all Trust Fund documents monthly.
  6. Review experience reports monthly.
  7. The parties will develop and mutually execute an education and outreach program addressing the costs/benefits of a HDHP/HSA.

Additionally, the City has committed to hiring a dedicated wellness coordinator to help ensure success of the program. Last, the City and Regence have committed $250,000.00 to help fund this program for 2014. 

We feel that this agreement offers stability and security to Union members in the City of Tacoma.We recommend a yes vote. You should expect a separate communication from your specific Union regarding information meetings and opportunities to vote on this agreement.

Tacoma Joint Labor Committee:

Alice Phillips, Chair, IBEW 483

Matt Frank, Vice-Chair, Tacoma Firefighters IAFF, Local 31

Jeff Clark, Secretary-Treasurer, Teamsters, Local 117

Terra Ament, Teamsters 313

Roberta Burnett, IBEW 483

Dylan Carlson, AFSCME Local 120

Bobby Joe Murray, District Lodge 160

Patrick Silvernale, PTE Local 17


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