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October 21, 2017
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Teamsters Western Region and Local 177 Health Care Plan
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Teamster News Headlines
 
Former XPO Worker in Buffalo Details Mistreatment By Company
UPS Contract Update for October 20, 2017
UPS Honors Company's 'Safest Driver Ever' in Livonia
Hall: The Big 3 Are Fueling the Opioid Epidemic
Teamster Disaster Relef Volunteers Come Home from Puerto Rico
Teamsters Offer Disaster Relief Assistance for Victims of California Wildfires
Teamsters Urge Philadelphia City Council To Repeal The Beverage Tax
“A Life-Changing Experience”: Local 174 Members Return from Hurricane Relief in Puerto Rico
Community Activists Announce Launch of the Stand up for School Bus Safety Coalition
Teamsters' Lydia Torres joins Senator Elizabeth Warren on Capitol Hill for the Real Aid, Right Now!
 
     
COBRA COVERAGE
Updated On: Apr 29, 2009

   Many employees who lose their jobs also lose health insurance because they cannot afford to pay the applicable COBRA premium.Under the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, certain individuals who are eligible for COBRA continuation health coverage may now be eligible to pay a reduced premium amount, equivalent to 35% of the premium for COBRA, for up to 9 months. This reduced premium is made possible by a government paid subsidy, "fronted" by the employer, for the remaining 65% of the COBRA premium cost. Please refer to the following questions and answers for important information about how the COBRA premium reduction may affect you:

Q: Who is eligible for the subsidy?

 The subsidy is available to employees who are, involuntarily terminated on or after September 1, 2008 but before January 1, 2010 (the last date to qualify is December 31, 2009) and who are eligible for, and elect, COBRA continuation coverage (or similar State coverage). The spouses and dependants of these employees, who are otherwise entitled to COBRA coverage are also eligible. Please note that employees terminated for "gross misconduct" are not eligible, since they are not entitled to elect COBRA continuation under already existing COBRA rules.

   There exists a phase-out of eligibility for the subsidy based upon income. Accordingly, those individuals whose modified gross income is less than $125,000, or $250,000 for those filing joint returns, are entitled to recieve the entire subsidy tax free. However, individuals, or joint filers, with modified gross income above those amounts will be required to repay a portion of the subsidy, and the subsidy is phased out completely for individuals whose adjusted gross income exceeds $145,000, or $290,000 for those filing joint returns. For those individuals, the subsidy would have to be repaid completely as an additional tax. The Act provides that persons who earn in excess of these amounts may choose to permanently waive the subsidy by notifying the employer of the waiver.

   For individuals who were involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008 and February 16, 2009 (the day before the Act became effective) but did not enroll in COBRA continuation coverage, those individuals will have a second opportunity to enroll. Under the Act, a plan is required to notify such individuals of the second election period by April 18, 2009, after which time they have 60 days to enroll in COBRA coverage with the premium reduction. Individuals that elected COBRA coverage during this period and paid the full premium during this period will be eligible for reimbursement of the premium subsidy or a credit against future premium payments.

Q: How long does the subsidy last?

    The subsidy can last up to 9 months. However, the subsidy will end earlier if:

    1) an individual becomes eligible for Medicare or another group health plan (such as a plan sponsored by a new employer or a spouse's employer); or

    2) an individual reaches the end of their maximum COBRA coverage period.

   An individual must notify a plan if they become eligible for coverage for another group plan or Medicare. Failure to do so will result in a tax penalty.

Q: How is the subsidy paid?

   An employer is required to pay 65% of the COBRA premium upon receipt of payment for 35% of the premium from the employee. The employer submits this payment on the employee's behalf and can then seek reimbursement from the government through a payroll tax offset.

Q: What action is my employer and/or plan administrator required to take?

   For involuntary terminations that occur after February 17, 2009, plan administrators (and employers, if they are the plan administrator) are required to give notice of premium subsidy to terminated employees and their spouses within 44 days of the termination. However, because the Department of Labor did not issue a Model notice until March of this year, plan administrators had the option of waiting to issue the notice. In that event, however, the 60 day period in which to elect the COBRA coverage with the premium subsidy does not commence until the notice is issued.

   For persons terminated involuntarily after September 1, 2008, and before the Act's enactment date, plan administrators must provide notice of the premium subsidy on or before April 18, 2009. These indivuduals will have 60 days after the notice is issued to elect coverage with the premium subsidy.

Q: What can I do if my employer refuses to pay the subsidy?

    Persons who are eligible for the subsidy, but are not provided the subsidy by their employer, may appeal the denial directly to the Department of Labor. A decision will be issued within 15 days after reciept of the application for review. However, procedures for initiating such an appeal have not yet been issued by the Department of Labor. An official application form will be designated for such appeals. This form will soon be available at:   www.dol.gov/COBRA, along with instructions for submitting the form.

   If you believe you have been inappropriately denied eligibility for the premium reduction, you may wish to speak with an Employee Benefits Security Administration Benefits Advisor at: 1-866-444-3272 before filing this form.

 


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ORGANIZE TODAY!

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Contact Teamsters Local 177 at:

(973)923-7070

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Current Campaigns
  • The IBT and your Atlanta Committee members, Geoff Maloney and Chris Rogers have been negotiating with Company management since 2010; almost as long as the IBT have been negotiating for the Express Jet CRJ members. 

    The Company has now given us their final, closeout proposal on wages. Neither the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Airline Division, the Business Agents of Local 210 and Local 19, nor your rank-and-file committee members are recommending this be ratified. A detailed letter from your ExpressJet CRJ Negotiating Committee can be found here. A copy of the company’s last, best and final offer can be found here.

    Ballots were mailed on Tuesday, June 20, 2017.  Each member will receive voting instructions and credentials required for voting.  Voting will close on Monday, July 10, and will be counted the same day. 

  • The ‘Let’s Get America Working!’ campaign seeks to restore a dynamic and prosperous middle class to drive economic growth by helping to advance policy decisions that create and maintain good middle-income jobs, guarantee retirement security, expand access to the American Dream, and ensure that the benefits of the ongoing economic recovery are felt by the many, not just the few.

  • We Are eXPOsing XPO’s Global Greed

    XPO Logistics is a top ten global logistics and transportation company with annual revenue of $15 billion and 89,000 employees, another 10,000 workers classified as independent contractors, and thousands more working for firms that subcontract with XPO. We are the REAL workers at XPO Logistics worldwide exposing the truth about the company’s global greed, illegal wage theft, unsafe conditions, and abhorrent and vicious anti-worker, anti-union tactics. 

    This greed includes mistreating former Con-way Freight workers in the United States who are being kept in the dark about terminal closures and layoffs, and the company’s illegal refusal to bargain contracts and denying their workers’ federally protected right to organize. It also includes port, rail and last-mile drivers around the country and in Southern California fighting wage theft in excess of $200 million because they are misclassified as independent contractors and denied the right to form their union. This greed has caused numerous lawsuits and strikes.  Greed also means an unsafe workplace and mistreating its warehouse employees.

    XPO’s greed extends to Europe beginning with breaking its promise to not layoff any workers for at least 18 months. French workers and the unions have been fighting back against XPO’s disrespect, lies and attempts to slash jobs. Similar struggles are taking place in Great Britain, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, and across Europe.

    Join the worldwide struggle now! Get involved with this campaign by joining the Facebook group “XPO Exposed.”

    Together, we can eXPOse the company’s global greed and win fairness, respect and dignity for tens of thousands of XPO employees around the world!

  • This webpage provides information on the Teamsters Union’s legislative advocacy at both the federal and state level as well as our field activity to support those policy positions and to get strong labor candidates elected to office.  Among other resources, you will find our federal legislative scorecard, formal statements of policy position and communications to Capitol Hill,  a weekly update on federal legislative happenings, an overview of bills we are tracking at the state level, and quick links to take action on priority issues.

  • Negotiations for the National Master Automobile Transporters Agreement (NMATA) recently concluded and a tentative agreement has been reached. On Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 representatives from carhaul local unions met in Detroit to endorse the National Agreement and the Central-Southern Supplement, paving the way for members to vote. The Eastern and Western Supplements were approved in 2016, and will not be re-voted. However, all carhaul members will get to exercise their right to vote on the National Agreement and General Monetary Changes.

    Ballots will be mailed out on or about March 10 and are tentatively scheduled to be counted on March 30.

    The tentative agreement is from September 1, 2015, until May 31, 2021.

  • Workers’ pensions are being endangered by both Congress and those charged with overseeing them. The Teamsters and our members are standing united to say “No!” to cuts and “Yes!” to greater retirement security!

  • The Teamsters Union represents more than 250,000 members at UPS and UPS Freight. UPS remains an active member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) despite the organization’s anti-worker and anti-union agenda that seeks to undermine and weaken worker protections.

  • This web page provides information on the ongoing effort to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Since 1994, NAFTA has devastated working families, putting corporate profits ahead of people.  What’s worse is that NAFTA has become the blueprint for all other trade agreements, from the way that it was negotiated in secret, to the bad provisions that have made their way into every agreement that has been signed since then.  Now, NAFTA is being renegotiated and we demand that it be reframed to work for workers instead of corporate interests.

  • Workers across the country at FedEx Freight and Con-way Freight are standing shoulder to shoulder to form their unions with the Teamsters to win a more secure future. Momentum is building with a first wave of victories with many more to come.

    There is growing worker resentment toward the companies after years of being treated unfairly. While the companies have suddenly made improvements since workers began to organize, workers know that without a legally binding contract the company can take these things away at any time.

    The unfulfilled promises that have been made to drivers and dockworkers over the past decade are coming back to haunt management.

    But now workers are taking action and standing up for themselves by forming their union. It's a different era now. It's Teamster Time! LIKE our Facebook page, here.

  • Teamsters are been standing together to protect good jobs at Sysco and US Foods. Our solidarity on many fronts helped to defeat the mega-merger of the two companies, which would have put thousands of jobs at risk. But challenges remain as both companies refine their plans. Join our campaign to ensure these foodservice giants honor their agreements with 11,500 Teamsters and help us bring more Sysco and US Foods workers into the Teamster family. LIKE our Facebook page, here.

     

 
 
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