Health Care Grievance Filed Over Premium Increases
Following up on our email from Nov. 20 on the member-flagged issue of potential violations of our health-care premium cap protections, IAPE has filed a grievance against Dow Jones as we take defending our contract very seriously.
According to Article XII, Section A.3 of our agreement, with the company, Dow Jones is prohibited from raising premiums from 2017 to 2018 by more than 0.5% of your annual salary. For example, if your annual salary is $85,000, the most the company can increase your premiums in a year is $425 (Thanks to a freeze negotiated by our bargaining committee last year, health-care plan costs for all members were steady for 2017.)
But during last month's open enrollment period for benefits covering 2018, some of our members — particularly those with POS II Family Coverage — noticed their costs will increase by as much as 0.75%. The responses from the company and the DJ Benefits department have been that the increases are permissible. Dow Jones has tried to justify the above-cap increases by saying IAPE-represented employees benefited from a one-year freeze in health care premiums, and that the 2018 increases are permissible because they fall under the cap if factoring what premiums would have been had we not agreed to that 2017 freeze.
While the union navigates the official processes to deal with this clear-cut contract violation, we invite you learn more about the negotiated benefit in question and the contract. We can also update you on our efforts to get detailed information about what our health plan covers — including an up-to-date document that spells out benefits and exclusions, an equivalent document for the new Progyny fertility benefit added for 2018, and clarification on some of the terms and conditions of the dental DMO plan.
Check your email for meetings details and options to join remotely. If you have any questions, please reach out to any IAPE officer or your location director.
Wednesday, Dec. 20, 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Central Park conference room in New York
Thursday, Dec. 21, Noon-1 p.m. Beijing conference in Princeton
Washington and Los Angeles, TBD.