Coalition Letter on Health Insurance sent June 23, 2011

Mass-Care, Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, UMass Student Labor Action Project (SLAP), The Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts (PHENOM), and UAW Local 2322 have signed onto a letter to the Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education, the Chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, and the Chair of the UMass Board of Trustees, calling on them to address the devastating changes to the Student Health Insurance Plan that UMass Amherst and UMass Dartmouth have proposed.

These coalition partners have been very helpful in aiding GEO and UAW Local 2322 in our fight to restore a just health care plan.

New information on health insurance changes

After receiving the University’s Letter to Graduate Student Employees on May 27, 2011, many of us had questions about what the proposed changes to the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) would mean for graduate employees.  We have recently come into possession of an additional memo from Donna Yezierski to UHS “Providers, Clinic Staff, PT, Specialty Clinic, Patient Services” which outlines the changes in greater detail than what was initially sent to GEO members.  We encourage you to read the new memo and to determine what these changes could mean for your personal healthcare expenses starting August 1, 2011.

Contact University Health Services about changes to our insurance

Email UHS with your concerns about their proposed insurance plan!  Just fill out the form below and click “Send”.  Feel free to replace our text with your own message and concerns about the new plan announced on May 27, 2011.

We have taken down our submission form. Here is the letter that over 400 GEO members sent:

The changes to the Student Health Insurance Plan announced on May 27 will be disastrous for Graduate Student Employees and their families. Only one year ago, our insurance had no deductible, $10 and $20 prescription copays, and 100% coverage for referred services at preferred providers. Over the 2010-2011 academic year, a $200 plan deductible was imposed, and prescription copays increased by as much as 100%, but serviced referred out of University Health Services continued to be covered at 100% at preferred providers. These changes created hardships for many Graduate Student Employees. The new plan, which caps coverage outside University Health Services at 85%, will be a disaster for those among us who are chronically ill, for women seeking gynecological care, for new families and for those with young children, as well as for anyone who has a medical emergency requiring hospitalization. University Health Services does not provide many of these services and routinely refers students to outside providers for their care. I call on you to reverse the changes announced May 27 for the 2011-2012 Academic Year and those implemented during the 2010-2011 Academic Year, and return to the coverage Graduate Student Employees received while bargaining their last contract.

Click to continue reading “Contact University Health Services about changes to our insurance”

Contraceptive Prices Should Not Have Risen! Call UHS Today

GEO-UAW is currently filing a grievance over the unfair contraceptive prices, a slow, but hopefully effective process.
Our contract says the prices for birth control will never be over $10, so the administration is using a 2005 law to try to charge more. That law has since been overturned, but the prices at the UHS pharmacy still haven’t been capped since August 1st! Call Bernie Melby, the director of UHS, to let her know we don’t appreciate her breaking our contract and overcharging graduate students who need contraceptives.
If you, or someone on your plan, is buying contraceptives through UHS, please call or email the GEO office to put your name on a group grievance.
While the grievance process is a great tool for union members, we need to have our voices heard now.

Call Bernie Melby at (413) 577 5000 and encourage your friends to do the same.  For more details on the birth control issue see our web post.