July 30, 2014

Health care tax benefit for Mass. rail members

UTU members in Massachusetts covered under the National Rail Contract and other UTU plans will not face a tax penalty for the 2011 state tax year for dependent child maternity benefits. The Massachusetts state legislature had mandated coverage of dependent child maternity benefits. But because the collectively bargained National Rail Contract does not include this [...]

Diabetes: Know the symptoms

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Almost 26 million Americans suffer with diabetes. Shockingly, another 79 million have pre-diabetes, and many are not even aware they have the disease. It is estimated that by the year 2050, one-in-three American adults will have diabetes unless serious steps are taken to stop or prevent it.  Diabetes often goes unnoticed and, therefore, untreated because [...]

Early rail retiree insurance cap raised

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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 [...]

It’s time for flu and pneumonia vaccines

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The head-cold and flu season is upon us, making it time to lower your risk of disease and illness by receiving a flu shot and pneumonia vaccine – and if you or your spouse is covered by Medicare, you won’t bear the cost and do not require a doctor’s referral. The flu shot is an [...]

Medicare Part B premium will rise in 2012

The Medicare Part B premium will rise by $3.50 monthly to $99.90 monthly beginning Jan. 1, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. This is the first increase in the Part B premium in two years. For Medicare participants who first enrolled in 2010 and 2011, and have been paying as much as $115.40 monthly, [...]

H&W enrollment return deadline nearing

Nov. 11 is the deadline for returning to Railroad Enrollment Services the annual health and welfare enrollment materials for railroad employees and/or dependents covered under the National Railway Carriers and United Transportation Union (NRC/UTU) Health and Welfare Plan. For those employees and/or dependents covered under the Railroad Employees National Health and Welfare Plan (GA-23000), the [...]

Take note of prescription drug recall

Qualitest Pharmaceuticals has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of its oral contraceptive owing to a packaging error that could leave women at risk of an unintended pregnancy. Medco, which supplies many UTU members and family with prescription drugs, is notifying its patients who may have been supplied with the voluntarily recalled packages, as are other [...]

Annual health & welfare enrollment forms in mail

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Annual health and welfare enrollment materials for railroad employees and/or dependents covered under the National Railway Carriers and United Transportation Union (NRC/UTU) Health and Welfare Plan are being mailed by UnitedHealthcare. (Those members covered under the national health and welfare plan should have already received their enrollment materials in the mail.) Included is a “Dependent Add [...]

UTU pact sweet as health care premiums soar

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The UTU’s ratified national rail contract – locking in for six years a $200 monthly health care insurance premium — is looking even more attractive following a Kaiser Family Foundation study showing health care costs and health care premiums are rocketing into space. Nationally, the average monthly premium for family health care insurance through an employer [...]

Knowing you have high cholesterol is important

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(The following message is provided by UnitedHealthcare) High cholesterol affects children, young adults and older individuals — and many do not know they have it because high cholesterol usually doesn’t present noticeable symptoms. However, it is a major risk factor for heart disease, as cholesterol deposits on the coronary walls narrow the arteries, slowing or [...]