Eastern Update

Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Name change for Prescription Safety Eyeglass program from HOYA's to SAFE VISION. If any member has issues getting glasses please contact Union hall in your area. Kevin Lyons
Open enrollment season is upon us. Open enrollment will begin October 12 and end at 5 pm on October 23. You can make changes to your elections online at www.benefitservices.nationalgrid.com or by calling 888-483-2123. You may wish to consider the CDHP plan through Blue Cross/Blue Shield, otherwise known as the high-deductible plan. Did you know that you if you divert the same amount of money into the Health Savings Account as you spend on your current coverage and you are a low utilizer of medical services that you can carry the additional money over indefinitely? You can use that money toward future medical expenses or ultimately invest it toward your retirement. In a year of high medical utilization your out-of-pocket maximum would be about the same as your current plan once you factor in your weekly contributions.
In the Western Division current enrollees in Lifetime Benefits Solutions should have already received notification that LBS is exiting the health insurance business at the end of the year. You will need to enroll in a new health insurer at open enrollment. - Dan Machold, Business Rep., Benefits Co-chair
To our members,
We are starting to see some small but destructive weather events, ones that last just minutes but create much devastation. It is time to use your training to stay safe and return home to your family in one piece. The local is and always will push for the training necessary to continue to do your job in a safe and efficient way. Watch out for one another and we will get through this.
It is that time of year again to check that the benefits plan you have is the right one for you. The week beginning October 12th is open enrollment. By now you should have received your options packet to compare the plans. Should you have any questions please contact the hall. We are continuing to have calls with the company about daily updates to our new way of working. All pertinent information can be found on our website. We will continue to keep everyone informed.
In closing we must remind you to do your daily check-ins no matter how many attempts it takes and continue to wear your masks when you can’t socially distance. There are many eyes out there and even more cameras. Stay safe and keep up the hard work. - Bill Maloney, Business Rep.
The open enrollment period will begin on Monday, November 9 through Friday November 20th. If employees are not making changes, they do not need to re-enroll in everything. Their current benefits elections will carry over to next year with the exception of the flexible spending accounts. The IRS requires employees to sign up every year for this coverage.
We recently settled the ‘excused time off’ arbitration. Those effected will be made whole and going forward we have clear language which will help avoid issues in the future.
As we continue to work through these confusing times the staff continues to work hard to resolve issues that arise every day. Please reach out to your stewards or call the office if you encounter any concerns that need to be address.
Steve Givney
IBEW Local 97
Assistant Business Manager East


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