APWU Negotiates New Health Benefit for PSEs

Postal Support Employees (PSEs) will soon be able to sign up for health insurance during their first year of employment, President Mark Dimondstein has announced. Currently, PSEs can enroll only after they complete their first 360-day appointment.

Beginning with a Special Enrollment Period from May 16, 2016, to June 30, 2016, PSEs will be eligible to join the USPS Health Benefits (USPSHB) Plan. Coverage will be effective on July 9, 2016.

The Postal Service will contribute at least $125 per pay period toward the cost of the insurance.

“This benefit is a step forward, especially for those who need self-only coverage,” Dimondstein said. “This stop-gap measure will improve conditions for PSEs who need insurance for their first year.”

“This benefit applies to all PSEs, regardless of the number of hours they work,” Dimondstein pointed out. This is significant because the Affordable Care Act requires employers to cover only those workers who work a minimum of 30 hours per week.

After the first 360-day appointment, PSEs can switch to the APWU Consumer Driven Health Plan, where the Postal Service pays 75 percent of total premium costs for self-only, self-plus-one and self-and-family coverage.

To find out more, visit https://liteblue.usps.gov/benefits or call 1-877-477-3273 and select option 1; TTY 866-260-7507. To enroll by mail, complete the PostalEASE worksheet available on LiteBlue and mail it to: HRSSC Compensation/Benefits, PO Box 970400, Greensboro NC 27497-0400.