Released: July 18, 2016
Dear IEA Members (active and retired):
This past spring, the Irvington Board of Education moved to change health benefits from the private Irvington plan to the School Employees Health Benefits Program effective July 1, 2016. (SEHBP) The IEA and NJEA filed for an injunction with the Public Employment Relations Commission to prevent unilateral benefit changes.
PERC’s Commission Designee granted our request and issued an order which requires the Irvington Board of Education to create a fund to compensate members when coverage and payments from SEHBP are less than would have been provided under the more generous Irvington plan.
You may suffer damages which require payment from this fund that may include, but are not limited to:
- higher copays for healthcare provider office visits;
- increased out-of-pocket maximums for in- and out-of-network care;
- higher coinsurance for prescription medication;
- higher coinsurance for out-of-network care;
- elevated deductibles prior to payment from the insurance company;
- denials of care under SEHBP that were covered by the Irvington plan;
- payments for dental insurance premiums that were previously provided by the Board; and
- deductions for insurance premiums by the State from retiree pensions.
If you have been damaged in such a manner, it is extremely important that you submit a claim to the fund for reimbursement. The submission process to the Board of Education and necessary forms will be shared with you in a future communication. In the meantime, please ensure that you are gathering the necessary documents to support your claims. These will include invoices, explanations of benefits, (mailed to you by the insurance company) and proof that you paid the provider. Make sure to get receipts each time you go to a medical office or pharmacy.
We are respectfully requesting that all members who submit a claim to the fund also send a copy with the necessary support documents to the IEA. This will allow us to track claims, follow-up on payment, and pursue the grievance process if you are not reimbursed. We cannot ensure the proper administration of the injunction unless all members notify us of their claims. Until further notice, I will be serving as the primary recipient of claim copies sent to the IEA. Procedures are in place to maximize confidentiality of personal health information.
The IEA Executive Board will continue to communicate as developments occur. We appreciate your support and understanding through this process.
ALL MEMBERSHIP READ THE FOLLOWING LINK!!!
IMPORTANT!!!! Click below
NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer testified in opposition to the bill this afternoon. “NJEA views S-979 on the same level as Chapter 78. Any vote other than a no on this bill is a direct attack on our core value of collective bargaining.”
While the bill has moved out of committee, it is not currently scheduled for a vote by the full Senate. NJEA members should contact Senate President Steve Sweeney and urge him not to post the bill for a vote by the full Senate.
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