Medical plan changes at Post-Dispatch result in higher out-of-pocket costs

Oct 23, 2014 by

Health care premiums will remain stable for United Media Guild members at the Post-Dispatch next year.

But due to changes in the Lee Enterprises plans for 2015, we could pay appreciably more in out-of-pocket medical costs. Those choosing the high-deductible (lowest-cost) plan will be hit the hardest.

We should all review these changes carefully before completing our insurance enrollment

Here are the comparisons from 2014 to 2015, where changes have been made:

LOW DEDUCTIBLE PLAN (Highest Contribution)

First payer

  • Individual deductible increases from $500 to $750.
  • Family deductible increases from $1,000 to $1,500.

Second payer

  • Company-funded individual deductible decreases from $750 to $500.
  • Company-funded family deductible decreases from $1,500 to $1,000.

Also:

  • The plan’s share of out-of-network costs decreases from 60 percent to 50 percent.
  • Maximum out-of-pocket individual prescription costs increases from $2,000 to $2,500.
  • Maximum out-of-pocket family prescription costs increases from $4,000 to $5,000.

MID-DEDUCTIBLE PLAN (Middle Contribution)

First payer

  • Individual deductible increases from $1,000 to $1,500.
  • Family deductible increases from $2,000 to $3,000.

Second payer

  • Company-funded individual deductive decreases from $750 to $500.
  • Company-funded family deductible decreases from $1,500 to $1,000.

Also:

  • The plan’s share of out-of-network costs decreases from 60 percent to 50 percent.
  • Maximum out-of-pocket individual costs for in-network care increases from $2,000 to $2,500.
  • Maximum out-of-pocket family costs for in-network care increases from $4,000 to $5,000.

HIGH-DEDUCTIBLE PLAN (Lowest Contribution)

  • Individual deductible increases from $2,500 to $2,600.
  • Family deductible increases from $3,500 to $4,000.

Also:

  • The plan’s share of out-of-network costs decreases from 60 percent to 50 percent.
  • Maximum out-of-pocket individual costs for in-network care increases from $1,000 to $2,000.
  • Maximum out-of-pocket family costs for in-network care increases from $3,000 to $4,000.
  • Maximum out-of-pocket individual costs for out-of-network care increases from $2,000 to $4,000.
  • Maximum out-of-pocket family costs for out-of-network care increases from $6,000 to $8,000.

Due to the current collective bargaining agreement, the company cannot increase our percentage share of health insurance premiums. We pay 25 percent and the company pays 75 percent for the length of the contract, which expires next year.

The contract also capped our annual premium at 13.5 percent per year. There will be a no increase for next year.

But the contract does not prevent the company for changing deductibles, cost share percentages and the maximum limits for our out-of-pocket costs. That is where we will get hit in the wallet.

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