Thursday, February 16, 2017

Members Seeing Losses In Insurance Coverage

Blue Voice candidate for President Kevin Graham vows to get back insurance losses under Angelo...

Asked at every roll call what the Blue Voice slate will focus on in the upcoming elections, health insurance tops the list.

It's also a major concern for retirees, who fear the FOP under President Dean Angelo will negotiate away their benefits even more.

The reason is that everyone, citywide, is talking seeing for the first time the changes in their health insurance that went into effect in 2017. They wonder why the police should be getting stuck with higher costs, and they are concerned about the affordability of the insurance with these changes.

 “The FOP must regain the losses negotiated in the last contract. We deserve more, not less. That should be obvious to anyone who knows what the police face everyday,” Blue Voice presidential candidate Kevin Graham said. 

 Starting January 1, 2017, FOP members are liable for a co-pay every time they go see a doctor. That means every time an officer takes anyone from his family to the see a doctor, he has to fork over some money, anywhere between $25 and $35 dollars. That can cost a member more than a $1,000 a year. This is the first time that our PPO Plan has ever had co-pays.

Worse, those co-payments do not count toward members’ out-of-pocket costs or their deductible.

Candidate Kevin Graham

And it’s not just the co-pays. Depending on the insurance plan FOP members have, they may now pay an increased percentage of their bill, an increase in some cases from 10 percent to 25 percent, depending on what hospital they go to.  

This is the new “tiered” system that was agreed to by Dean Angelo’s administration. In this tiered system, the city’s insurance will pay different rates at different hospitals. That means it is often more expensive for a member to visit the hospital they want, and cheaper to go to a hospital they don’t like.

Other PPO Changes for 2017:

·      $150 emergency co-pay.

·      Transplant/bariatric surgery covered only when Blue Cross Centers of Distinction are used.

·      PPO members must call to pre-certify scans.

·      Increases in retail prescriptions.

What was the Angelo slate thinking when they accepted these changes?

Policing is as dangerous and risky as ever. Why should officers get lower insurance benefits?

While the Angelo administration has been unwilling to explain why they accepted these changes, Presidential candidate Kevin Graham has been telling members that restoring the old insurance benefits will be a central goal of contract negotiations if he is elected president.