December 22, 2014

Medicare premiums to increase in January

Medicare beneficiaries will see their standard Medicare Part B monthly premium increase by $5 monthly to $104.90 beginning in January. A small number of beneficiaries will continue to pay higher premiums based on their modified adjusted gross income, which depends on the extent to which an individual beneficiary’s modified gross income exceeds $85,000 ($170,000 for [...]

Note a recall of medication Pradaxa(r)

The manufacturer of the prescription medication Pradaxa(r) is voluntarily recalling all patient-level lots of 75mg dosage of the medication. The reason is a potential packaging defect that the manufacturer says may compromise the integrity of the bottle and permit moisture to enter and impair the effective dose. If you have the 75 mg. dose of [...]

Early rail retiree insurance cap rises in 2013

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UTU members and their dependents insured under the Railroad Employees National Early Retirement Major Medical Benefit (ERMA) Plan (GA-46000) will have their lifetime maximum amount of coverage increased, effective Jan. 1. ERMA is a comprehensive benefits plan for employees who retire at or after age 60 with 30 years of service. The plan covers qualified [...]

Save money by using in-network providers

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The national railroad plans (“plan”) allow you to see any doctor in your plan administrator’s network, including specialists, without a referral. This means that you have the freedom to choose a physician or specialist without first seeing a primary care physician. There are two levels of coverage under the plan. Your level of coverage is [...]

Railroad H&W plans’ open enrollment now available

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Eligible railroad employees and/or dependents can now complete their annual re-enrollment online at the Railroad Information Depot website. The website also contains information about the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) now available for employees of participating railroads. Employees covered under the NRC/UTU Health and Welfare Plan and the Railroad Employees National Health and Welfare Plan have [...]

Medicare and ambulance services

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Ambulances transport critically ill or injured passengers to hospitals every day. They also take patients with non-emergency conditions to hospitals, critical access hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes and other medical facilities to treat serious health conditions.  Some of these transports are scheduled in advance, and some are not. Both emergency and non-emergency ambulance services [...]

Medco, Express Scripts now combined

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Medco and Express Scripts are now one company managing the prescription benefit for those whose health care plans include Express Scripts or Medco. You should continue to refill your prescriptions as you normally would by using your current prescription drug ID card, member ID number, mail-order refill forms, www.medco.com, and the toll-free member services telephone [...]

Affordable Care Act eliminates many copays

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UTU members with questions on how the Affordable Care Act will affect them and their families should visit the websites of their health care insurance carriers. For UTU members covered under the national railroad medical, prescription drug, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits plans, links to your health insurance providers’ websites can be found at [...]

One-stop web address for rail health care info

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Railroad employees and/or their eligible dependents covered under the national railroad medical, prescription drug, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits plans may now find information about those benefits on a single web page. The Railroad Information Depot webpage address is www.rrinfodepot.com  Note that this web site pertains only to the nationally negotiated railroad health and welfare plans. If you [...]

Healthier lifestyle, longer life a mouse click away

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Small can be big – especially when “small” is small lifestyle changes, such as weight loss, more exercise, a reduction in alcohol consumption, and kicking a tobacco habit. Such lifestyle changes, say health care experts, may lead to “big” health improvements and a happier you. Americans spend more on health care than in any other industrialized [...]