New Blood Pressure Guidelines from American Heart Association

High blood pressure should be treated earlier with lifestyle changes and in some patients with medication – at 130/80 mm Hg rather than 140/90 – based on new ACC and American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines for the detection, prevention, management and treatment of high blood pressure.

Blood pressure categories in the new guidelines are:

  • Normal: Less than 120/80 mm Hg;
  • Elevated: Systolic between 120-129 and diastolic less than 80;
  • Stage 1: Systolic between 130-139 or diastolic between 80-89;
  • Stage 2: Systolic at least 140 or diastolic at least 90 mm Hg;
  • Hypertensive crisis: Systolic over 180 and/or diastolic over 120, with patients needing prompt changes in medication if there are no other indications of problems, or immediate hospitalization if there are signs of organ damage.

 New BP Guidelines Infographic 1

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FAQs

How does the Spousal Credit work?

The 2012 collective bargaining agreement permits employees to receive a credit of up to $1,200 if their spouse opts out of the Transit Employees’ Health & Welfare Plan’s health insurance program. It can only be used as a credit against medical and dental benefit expenses incurred as a Participant in the Plan. You must elect the spousal credit option each year.

Up to $100 per month will be applied to reduce the cost of your medical and dental insurance. It cannot be applied to reduce the cost of any supplemental life insurance you may have elected or of any other voluntary benefit.

Example

Your plan requires a monthly contribution of $80 toward single coverage and $208 toward family coverage. Here is how the credit will work:

  • For a family with only employee and spouse coverage, the spousal credit would change your plan from family to single (from $208 to $80) and the credit would further reduce the monthly contribution for single coverage ($80) to zero.
  • For a family with employee, spouse and children coverage, the spousal credit would not change your family plan coverage ($208), but it would reduce the $208 amount you pay to $108 (the maximum credit of $100 per month).

This credit is available to employees and retirees, but cannot be combined with the employee opt-out payment. This credit is available only if the employee or retiree remains covered in the Transit Employees Health and Welfare program.

You can only elect the spousal credit option during the annual open enrollment period, usually in May of each year. It will be effective for your premiums for the following July 1st. Download the Spousal Credit form here.

If you have more questions, please contact the Health and Welfare Plan Office.

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