Sharon Rossie

Every week, NPRI President Sharon Rossie writes a column for NPRI's week-in-review email. If you are not getting our emails, which contain our latest commentaries and news stories, you can sign up here to receive them.

Over the last few years, NPRI has been helping teachers save up to $800 a year by letting them they know they can opt out of union membership.

You’ve been a big part of that campaign by spreading the word to those in your circle of influence. And we’ve all been thrilled to see thousands of teachers leave union membership, keeping millions in the pockets of teachers, instead of in the paws of liberal union officials.

Today, I’d like to ask for your help reaching teachers again.

As you probably know from NPRI’s past work and numerous media reports, Clark County School District teachers receive their health insurance from a union-managed organization called the Teachers Health Trust. THT has been running out of money over the past several years.

In a closed door meeting, Clark County Education Association officials even predicted the Trust would go belly up.

The Trust has cut back on the number of in-network doctors, and teachers have shared with us that THT only covers care in Clark County. If a teacher needs to see a doctor on a trip to Reno, the Trust won’t cover it. If a teacher is pregnant while visiting California and the her baby comes early, the Trust won’t cover the delivery.

Many teachers don’t know that or only learn about that limitation after receiving a very unexpected medical bill.

But what’s happening now is the worst thing of all and why we need your help to reach teachers.

THT is going to using a private company called WellHealth to provide a new health care plan. Under the guise of this transition, THT is requiring teachers to attend in-person an open enrollment event on an upcoming Saturday in November or December. That information is all available on THT’s website.

What they don’t mention on their website, but NPRI learned by calling THT’s office, is that teachers who don’t attend one of the open enrollment sessions will lose their health care coverage for their dependents.

THT told NPRI that for teachers who don’t attend one of the open enrollment sessions, the teacher will be defaulted to the new plan, but that THT won’t transfer over dependents. Absent a significant life event like a marriage or birth, dependents can’t be added until next year’s open enrollment … in October 2016.

While teachers have confirmed to NPRI that THT is notifying teachers of their need to re-enroll by email and mail, teachers are worried that many of their colleagues will delete or throw away the messages without realizing their significance.

If THT really believes this reenrollment is necessary, they should be headlining these announcements with warnings like “Action needed to prevent your family from losing health coverage” and highlighting this on their RSVP page. Instead, it’s not even mentioned.

Unfortunately, this whole charade appears to be an attempt by THT to reduce its costs by giving it plausible deniability to eliminate health coverage for thousands of teachers’ spouses and children.

That’s where you and I come in. If you know a CCSD teacher, make sure they know about this open enrollment — and why they must attend.

While union bosses have created a scenario to deny health coverage for the families of teachers, you and I can help teachers keep their families covered by spreading the word immediately.

Warm regards,

Sharon J. Rossie
NPRI President

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