June 25, 2016

Member Health and Welfare contributions to increase

Effective July 1, 2016, rail employees covered under The NRC/UTU Health and Welfare Plan and The Railroad Employees National Health and Welfare Plan will see their monthly Health and Welfare contribution increased from the current $198.00 per month, to $228.89 per month. Why the increase? Since July 1, 2012 and pursuant to provisions of the […]

Risch, Harrison testify at Sleep Apnea hearing

National Legislative Director John Risch and Local 759 (Newark, N.J.) Secretary and Treasurer Craig Harrison testified at a public hearing today before the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) about Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Harrison, who works for Coach USA, testified about his hardships as a result of being diagnosed […]

RRB releases final rule doubling fraud penalties

The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) has released an interim final rule doubling penalties to health providers who submit false claims on a railroader’s behalf. Under the rule, the minimum penalty per false claim increases from $5,500 to $10,781. The maximum penalty per false claim increases from $11,000 to $21,563. The rule takes effect August 1, […]

FRA, FMCSA to host listening sessions on Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will host three public listening sessions to solicit information on the prevalence of moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among individuals occupying safety sensitive positions in highway and rail transportation, its potential consequences for the safety of rail and highway transportation, and the […]

Long-term disability insurance for bus members

Effective April 1, 2016, the SMART Transportation Division has entered into a new contract with MetLife Insurance Co. to provide the group voluntary long-term disability (VLTD) plan for all bus members. Member coverage and premiums remain the same with our new provider.  Members who missed the 2015 open enrollment deadline will be subject to pre-existing condition […]

Long-term disability insurance for rail members

Effective April 1, 2016, the SMART Transportation Division has entered into a new contract with MetLife Insurance Co. to provide the group voluntary long-term disability (VLTD) plan for all rail members. Member coverage and premiums remain the same with our new provider.  Members who missed the 2015 open enrollment deadline will be subject to pre-existing condition screening, […]

Short-term disability insurance for rail members

SMART Transportation Division is pleased to announce that after careful study and planning, the Voluntary Short-Term Disability (VSTD) Trustees have decided to terminate the Plan’s contract with Anthem Life effective March 31, 2016. The plan will now be self-funded by SMART effective April 1, 2016, and Southern Benefits Administrators, Inc. will be administering the plan. […]

Furloughed members: FAQs about medical benefits

Members who have been furloughed should be aware that their health care coverage benefits from their employer extends through the end of the fourth month after being furloughed. Below are Frequently Asked Questions that may be useful to our furloughed members. Q: How long does my insurance coverage last if I am furloughed? A: Employee and […]

Obama delays tax on high-cost group health plans

The Portland Business Journal reported that President Obama has signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 into law. This officially delays the 40 percent excise tax on group health plans. Unions and other organizations that provide strong benefit packages for members were the main targets of this tax.  Read the complete article here.

GA-46000 lifetime maximum adjusted for 2016

The lifetime maximum benefit for the Railroad Employees National Early Retirement Major Medical Benefit (ERMA or GA-46000) Plan will increase from $145,800 to $151,600 beginning Jan. 1, 2016. At the end of 2001, Labor and Management had agreed on various procedures to administer the annual changes in the amount of the lifetime maximum benefit under […]