The Postal Service has announced on Liteblue that all PSEs and non-career rural carriers (except ARCs) can enroll in the USPS Non-Career Employee Health Benefits Plan during the Special Enrollment Period that runs from May 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016. It will be effective July 9, 2016. CCAs and MHAs are not eligible.
I’ve noticed a couple problems. Number 1: The USPS doesn’t automatically enroll non-career employees in the pre-tax withholding of their health insurance premiums as a tax-saving benefit like they do career employees. This policy made sense before non-career employees had a career path, but it doesn’t anymore. If you wish to elect pretax treatment of your premium, complete PS Form 3119 and mail it to the HRSSC before the signup deadline.
Number 2: The new USPS Non-Career Employee Health Benefits Plan eliminates the union’s opportunity to address PSEs when they become eligible for the better APWU Consumer Driven Health Plan. This is unfortunate because after their first 360-day appointment, PSEs can switch to the APWU Consumer Driven Health Plan, where the Postal Service pays 75 percent of total premium costs for self-only, self-plus-one and self-and-family coverage. APWU health plan enrollment will likely suffer unless the APWU makes an effort to contact PSEs and remind them as they approach their first year anniversary.
First Name: Don
Last Name: Cheney
Union/Local: APWU – Auburn WA Local
Office held if any: Retired President