Category Archives: Benefits

Sign and Share: Rutgers workers need affordable health insurance

Bring your team to the table now;  let’s hammer out a deal on employee health insurance  as we agreed we would over eight months ago.  We can save money for Rutgers workers, the University and the State of New Jersey.

Twenty-two thousand unionized employees at Rutgers agreed to negotiate over health insurance with Rutgers management “immediately following” the close of negotiations on economics and working conditions issues last summer.  Since mid-2019, Rutgers has refused to come to the table on health insurance.  As of February 2020:

  • Rutgers employees are paying more for the State Health Benefits Plan than our peers who work directly for the State of New Jersey.
  • Thousands of adjunct faculty, who teach most of the classes at all Rutgers campuses and online, are offered no health insurance at all.
  • Medical faculty still have no contract.
  • Neither Rutgers nor its workers are getting the savings that the State of New Jersey negotiated with its workers in 2019.

Our salaries as unionized staff and faculty in public higher education are lower than what  we could earn in the private sector.  We have chosen to work in higher education for the rewards, which include a strong benefit package.  80% of our members  utilize the State Health Benefits plan for ourselves and our families.

We urge Rutgers management to  come to the bargaining table today,  as promised, and negotiate health insurance language for our contracts now– before another fiscal year of savings is lost.

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Take Health Insurance Survey

Health insurance is a complex issue for URA members this year. After eight years of increasing costs imposed by the NJ Legislature, we can once again bargain over our health insurance options. Rutgers unions will bargain this Fall to gain new options which State workers already have, to save money and offer new, quality plans. Even so, October is still the legal open enrollment period for calendar year 2020 benefits for all public employees and some of us will make changes in our coverage before bargaining is complete. (Any further changes will be available through a special open enrollment period after we complete negotiations.)

Please share your answers to the following 10 question survey. Your responses will serve as a guide to the URA bargaining team on our priorities for health insurance as we move forward.

Aetna Plans No Longer Available

The state signed a new health care vendor contract that drops Aetna as a plan option.

If you are currently enrolled in an Aetna plan, you can select a Horizon plan during open enrollment through October 31 or you will be automatically enrolled in the corresponding Horizon plan (see below).  Your Aetna coverage will still be in effect through December 31 and your new Horizon plan will begin January 1, 2020.

The majority of the changes will become effective on January 1, 2020.  These changes impact you if you are enrolled in an Aetna plan because Special note: If you are a current Aetna Liberty tiered plan member, please take note that many Aetna Tier 1 hospitals are designated by Horizon as Tier 2 and will cost you more.  Here is the State FAQ  sheet explaining the changes in the Aetna plan.

The Aetna plans that correspond to the new Horizon plans are as follows:

Aetna Freedom 15 Horizon NJ DIRECT 15
Aetna Freedom 1525 Horizon NJ DIRECT 1525
Aetna Freedom 2030 Horizon NJ DIRECT 2030
Aetna Freedom 2035 Horizon NJ DIRECT 2035
Aetna HMO Horizon HMO
Aetna Value HD4000 Horizon NJ DIRECT HD4000
Aetna Value HD1500 Horizon NJ DIRECT HD1500
Aetna Liberty Horizon OMNIA