Q: I read the Medical Insurance Premiums post on the JNC Blog, but could you elaborate a bit more? I understand that contractually AS must offer us a comparable plan/coverage to the pilots although my concern is not the coverage itself as much as the other items such as deductibles and the amount the Company has contributed to the HSA. Is there any protection or cap on the deductibles they can offer with a plan? Could the Company retract the money they have contributed to the HSA in the past?
A: The deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums, co-insurance, life-time caps, even prescription costs are all detailed in the pilots’ CBA. The Company must offer the same plans and provisions to the Flight Attendant group. The HSA company contributions (currently $1,000 employee only and $2,000 for family) are not contractual for ALPA. In years when management was attempting to increase participation in the high-deductible PPO plan, the contributions were increased.
Important note: The Alaska PPO plans are self-insured, so changing plan administrators can not bring significant change.
The Premera plans (Regular PPO and Consumer Choice PPO) are self-insured by Alaska Airlines and Premera is the administrative services provider. Negotiated plan terms cannot be unilaterally altered by the Company so the health plan provider doesn’t matter as long as the health plan provider can accommodate the services needed to comply with the contract. The Company has changed service providers before (e.g. from Aetna to Premera) and the labor group leaders were invited to participate in the process before a decision was made.
Q: Can we see the plan that the pilots have to research if our current providers, services, etc/, are in the plan?
A: AFA has verified with the ALPA Alaska Benefits representative that the pilots have the exact same network coverage as the FAs. Here is the relevant contractual language for your reference:
ALPA Alaska’s contract is amendable April 2020.