Health and Welfare Plan Deductions

Several factors determine the rates you pay.

  1. Actual experience. Each year, all of our carriers for medical, prescription drug and life insurance look back at our actual claim experience to determine the next year's rates. With assistance from our Plan consultants and actuaries, actual monthly rates are developed and the Trustees then approve and adopt the rates.
  2. The collective bargaining agreement. The collective bargaining agreement determines how much is paid by the authority and how much is paid by you, the member.

Active employees. Unless you elect a monthly deduction, your monthly rate will be broken into four monthly installments. On months with five pay periods, a deduction holiday will occur on the pay date for the fifth pay period. As long as you stay current, you will normally have four deduction holidays each year.

Retirees. Retirees pay their monthly premiums with deductions from their pension checks. Retiree deductions are taken at the end of the coverage month. For example, the pension check you receive at the beginning of May pays for your health care coverage for April.

Others. Several categories of people are on self-pay. They may be those on extended leave, Workers' Compensation, disability or those receiving survivor benefits. They can send checks or elect automatic debits.

This is a point of common confusion. We go by pay periods, which end on Saturdays. So, look for months with five Saturdays, and then count forward 11 days. That will be your deduction holiday. For example, April 2017 has five Saturdays with the fifth Saturday falling on April 29, 2017. The pay date for that pay period end date is May 10th.

In 2017, the deduction holidays fall on the following dates:

  • January 11, 2017
  • May 10, 2017
  • August 9, 2017
  • October 11, 2017

The good news is that you pay ahead while you are working. So your premium for the coverage month is normally paid by the beginning of the coverage month.

An example may help. You pay your premium in four monthly installments. Using April 2017 as an example, the fourth pay period ends on April 22nd. That pays your share of the premium for May 2017. If, for example, you should be out for the month of May without pay for any reason, your insurance will be paid for May. But, when you return to work, we will begin to catch you up. We limit the amount of the recovery to twice your normal weekly amount. Generally, that means that for each week you fall behind, your regular deduction amount will be doubled until you are caught up.

For those on Short-Term Disability (STD), we will take deductions from your short-term disability check if there is enough to pay your premium. It is not uncommon for people on STD to fall behind in their Health and Welfare Plan premiums.

For those on Long-Term Disability (LTD), members can elect monthly deductions. Generally, those are taken at the end of the coverage month. Members who return to work from STD or LTD frequently find that they have some catch-up contributions to make for a month or so.