RX/TX Bargaining Report #5 – April 4, 2011

RX/TX Bargaining Report #5

At last week’s Benefit’s bargaining session, discussion of the unprecedented and unexpected drastic increases in Health Net premiums continued.  UPTE has submitted numerous requests for information in an effort to assess and analyze the processes used by UC that resulted in these untoward and costly decisions affecting our members.  So far, UC has responded to many of our requests.  However, UC is still refusing to also bargain over the 2011 Blue Cross Anthem premium costs, which were also raised significantly.

UC stated Health Net Blue & Gold was added as an affordable option after the 2011 Health Net HMO bid came in at substantially higher rates than 2010. Sutter Health, Scripps, and Alta Bates failed to agree with Health Net on the Blue & Gold cost limits.  A vast majority of UPTE members were forced to change plans as the costs of retaining their Health Net HMO doctors became completely unaffordable.

UC admits that numerous physicians who were not part of Health Net Blue & Gold at the start of Open Enrollment last October, have since been added.  UC has failed to inform our members that a B&G provider may now be available that offers previously unavailable services closer to home.  UPTE has just been informed that B&G is adding new providers all the time, yet is refusing to hold another Open Enrollment.  So, members who stayed with the high priced Health Net may now learn that a B&G provider is available – but UC is refusing to allow members to switch over.  Our members at UC Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara do not even have a Kaiser facility and are especially burdened with long drives to get to an affordable provider.

UPTE has requested a current list of all Blue and Gold providers and will make that information available to our members.   UPTE has also requested that UC send notification to all UC employees that there are more B&G providers than was posted on UC’s web site during last Fall’s Open Enrollment.  In the meantime, check UC’s web site for current listings of all B&G providers or check with Health Net.

Members may receive a breach of privacy notice from Health Net if you are a current or former participant. Personal data from their Rancho Cordova data center may have been compromised. Health Net is offering two years of free identity theft insurance and credit monitoring services. Check the notice for enrollment details.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for April 20, in Oakland. Input, comments, questions from any UPTE member is not only welcomed, but appreciated.

Bargaining Team Members:

Wendi Felson, Chief Negotiator   

Anthony Fernandez, Radiation Safety Technician, LBNL

Karen Galbreath,  Animal Health Technician, UCD

Bryan Pettengill, Computer Resource Specialist, UCSD

Mike Fehr, Computer Resource Specialist, UCLA


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