We finally received some information regarding AETNA Student Health care. Whether or not you plan on cancelling (by January 10) or signing up (by February 23), you should be aware of important deadlines. Please head over to our health page to find out more. For a detailed list of what we have done and are currently doing regarding health care, click HERE.
Please remember, TAU is not an expert on any of this, but we have been working hard to find answers to our questions. For detailed information on the health plan with Aetna, you will need to contact them directly. Our benefits specialist, at Sindecuse, is Cindy Clegg.
As you know, we've been fighting hard to reopen our health care clause. We have filed our STEP TWO letter today. You can check that out HERE. For more on all of our actions regarding health care, please go to our health page.
Remember, we're only as strong as we are united.
We had a very productive and informative forum this past Friday. Here are some suggestions and recommendations from your TAU officers.
First off, TAU is recommending to its members that they all explore the health care exchanges (as part of the Affordable Health Care Act). It is our belief that the majority of TAs will qualify not only for exchange access, but most likely either Medicaid or subsidized rates, based on your income. This income does not vary much in our unit, but those of you with spouses, dependents, and other variables, make it hard to give a definitive answer on your eligibility.
TAU is also recommending that all TAs start an application with the health care exchange. We suggest you do so over the phone. It takes less than 30 minutes and ensures that the application gets started. EVEN IF YOU DON'T KNOW what you may do, by starting your application now, you'll be in a better position. The phone number to call is 1-800-318-2596. You will need a pay stub and your 2012 tax return information.
WE DISCOURAGE you from cancelling any coverage, including AETNA Student Health Plan, until we have some guarantees and clarification from the administration. We have asked two basic questions, which will take a few weeks to answer. Until we receive those answers, we DISCOURAGE you for making any drastic changes. Our goal is to provide you firm and in-writing answers to the following:
- If a TA is on AETNA, may they cancel that plan at any time
- If the TA wishes to re-enroll in AETNA, when can they do that. Basically, can they reapply immediately or must they wait for an enrollment period.
As always, if you have any questions, please get in touch with US.
Note: Remember that the "Silver" plans are the only plans that allow reductions in your co-insurance. You have to first qualify for tax credits, and if your income is 250% or less of the federal poverty level you can qualify for cost sharing reductions. For example, if your income is 100% above the FPL, your breakdown would be 94/6 (6 being your new co-insurance) instead of 70/30 without the cost reduction. After you receive approval on your application, we highly recommend you discuss your options with one of the health care phone specialists.
This past week was pretty busy. Here are a few updates regarding health care and current grievances.
- We had a very informative health care forum on Friday, November 15. Special thanks to Rob Prose (TA, Political Science) for presenting information on the Affordable Health Care Act. We are currently preparing a set of suggestions and information regarding YOUR healthcare. This should be out sometime later this week.
- Health Care grievance: As many of your know, the Administration has denied our Step One grievance. We are in the process of writing and filing our Step Two letter. As soon as the letter has been submitted, we will update the website. For more on what we have done and why, please see our "health care" page.
- Computer Science grievance: James Schwass (VP) met with Dr. Edmund Tsang (Interim Dean, College of Engineering and Applied Science) on Friday, November 15, to address our concerns. The meeting was short; Dr. Tsang asked if we had any further information to provide him. We did not. Dr. Tsang will reply, on behalf of the University, within 14 days of this meeting. For a list of current grievances and updates, please see our grievance page.
Eric Denby, Communications Officer
One of TAU's top priorities is fixing the outrageous health care offered to teaching assistants. In addition to a health care plan that does not meet the requirements of adult teaching assistants, we are tired of paying over 14% of our take home pay on the plan.
We're working hard with our Health Care Committee and the International Student Caucus. We have filed a grievance with the Administration and are waiting for their reply on the Step One Hearing.
In essence, we're working hard to get better health care options for our members.
YOU CAN HELP - If you haven't yet, please print this petition and gather signatures from other TAs and grad students in your department!
For more on our health care initiative, please check out the health page.