Notice: Health Care Waiver Benefits

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NOTICE to ALL CITY OF BALTIMORE CUB MEMBERS
SUBJECT: HEALTH CARE WAIVER BENEFITS

For years, the MOU for CUB included a payment benefit of $650 for any bargaining unit member who elected to decline medical benefits during open enrollment, upon a showing that the member had medical benefits provided to them from another source. In some cases, for example, the source of medical benefits came from a spouse or equivalent who also worked for the City and elected spousal or family coverage. In other cases, the source of medical benefits came from a spouse or equivalent who worked for a non-city employer who’s plan also covered the member.   

In the last bargaining cycle with the City, the Union secured a health care waiver payment in lieu of health care coverage of any type (Medical, Dental, Rx, Vision) by the City in the amount of $2,500 per benefit year. However, in order to be eligible for the $2,500 payment in lieu of benefits, the member must have declined ALL health care benefits (Medical, Rx, Dental, Vision) and must provide evidence of coverage from another source.  In 2020 and again in 2021, the city has declined this payment to some members who could not demonstrate that they affirmatively declined coverage of all city health benefit plans. The city sought evidence of the member’s open enrollment forms to show that they affirmatively declined benefits during open enrollment. 

The purpose of this Notice is to inform all members who intend to accept the $650 payment for declining medical benefits, or the $2500 for declining ALL health care benefits, that it is important that you maintain a copy of your open enrollment forms in the event a dispute arises and the city again attempts to deny your health care waiver payments. Please also review the waiver provisions in your MOU under Article 14 paragraphs G and H. I have included the text of those provisions below for your convenience.

If you have any questions, please direct them to your respective Labor Relations Specialist, right away.

In solidarity,
President Antoinette Ryan-Johnson

 

ARTICLE 14 – HEALTH AND WELFARE

A. The Employer shall remit an annual payment of six hundred fifty dollars ($650.00) (to be paid bi-weekly) to each employee who, with satisfactory proof of alternative health insurance coverage received in another plan, elects not to take any coverage under a City Health Care Plan.  If, after waiving coverage under any City Health Care Plan, the employee loses coverage due to the death of a spouse or other person who is a source of coverage, divorce or loss of employment or deletion of benefits (or such other qualifying event as determined by the Employee Benefits Division), the employee may enroll in a City Health Care Plan and consequently relinquish the waiver payment.  The employee must notify the City's Employee Benefits Division within sixty (60) days after a qualifying event occurs in order to enroll in a City Health Care Plan.  If after sixty (60) days the employee has not enrolled in a City Health Care Plan, he must wait until the next open enrollment period.

H. Effective January 1, 2020, the Employer shall remit an annual payment of $2,500.00 (twenty-five hundred) to be paid bi-weekly to each employee who, with satisfactory proof of alternative Health Insurance coverage received in another plan, elects not to take any coverage under a City Health Care Plan. The waiver of coverage applies to medical, dental, vision, and prescription drug programs. Health care coverage cannot be provided by a spouse/domestic partner who receives City benefits. If, after waiving coverage under any City Health Care Plan, the employee loses coverage due to the death of a spouse or other person who is a source of coverage, divorce or loss of employment (or such other qualifying event as determined by the Employee Benefits Division), the employee may enroll in a City Health Care Plan and consequently relinquish the waiver payment. An employee must notify the City's Employee Benefits Division within 30 days after a qualifying event occurs  in  order  to  enroll  in  a  City  Health  Care  Plan.  The Employer shall apportion the payment should an employee either enter or leave a City Health Care Plan within a calendar year.