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Volume 3, No. 18 - Summer 2000
Page 9

Don't Sell The NALC HBP Short

by Judy Kruspig

Perhaps you are one of the many members who don't think much about your health insurance provider. Your premiums come out of your pay check before you receive it along with a whole host of other deductions. You are basically healthy and only visit a doctor once or twice a year to have your teeth cleaned or your eyes checked. Or perhaps you've only filed claims occasionally- at the birth of a child or when your son broke his arm. So you are happy with your insurance coverage and don't really give it much thought.

Some of our members may have to give their coverage some serious thought in the very near future though. Rumor has it that the National Association of Letter Carriers Health Benefit Plan is in danger of being eliminated. It will probably be up for discussion at the National convention in Chicago.

Now I too was somewhat dismayed when our premiums went up over 100% a few years ago. But I had been extremely well cared for by our plan through the births of my four children, a broken shoulder and a few minor surgeries. In addition because my plan covers myself, my husband and the four kids I still felt it was a bargain. So I hung in there, The following year many of the other federal health plans followed suit with a comparable increase in their premiums.

But the NALC Health Plan continues to be one of the best. Although it lists recommended doctors and hospitals all other doctors and hospitals are covered. If you need to see a specialist you are covered. If a lab is more convenient to your home you are covered. Long before the federal government and our local hospitals endorsed a two day stay for childbirth as opposed to the 'go home after one day to save money' approach followed by many hospitals, the NALC health plan allowed you and your doctor to make that determination. After a C-Section the hospital told me I might need to leave on the second full day there. All it took was a phone call to increase that stay by two more full days.

The NALC health plan continues to be an excellent choice for you and your family. It is in no way an HMO and continues to allow you to choose the doctors and hospitals that best suit your needs.

I hope the NALC health plan will continue. But at this time it has far more retired members than active letter carriers. Besides the burden on myself any reduction in health care options lessens the competition and allows the monopolies to thrive. In addition the NALC health plan employs union workers who are paid a fair wage and have benefits of their own. Anytime I have needed to call with a question they have been courteous and helpfully provided the information I needed.

Support our carriers health plan. You will find it more than adequate for the health needs of you and your family.

Source: Judy Kruspig is assistant editor of The Summit City Mailbag, monthly publication of Summit City Branch No. 116, Fort Wayne, IN. This article was published in the July 2000 issue of that publication.

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