In the 2021-2024 CBA, it was agreed that any time a PSE spent in an FEHB health plan would count to the one-year requirement to qualify for the “Preferred Rate” (Postal Service pays 95% of the premium) for our members who are members of the Consumer Driven Option of the APWU Health Plan. Employees are not eligible for the “preferred rate” until they become career, so the PSE time counting was a huge accomplishment in our last negotiations. This provision went into effective upon the effective date of the 2021-2024 CBA (February 28, 2022). However, they had to do programming changes to “count” time spent in a FEHB plan as a PSE to be applied to qualifying for the “preferred” rate. The “counter” went into effect with the start of pay period 21-2022 (September 24, 2022). The APWU always took the position that those not paying the “preferred” rate as of February 28, 2022, were owed a refund for their overpayment of premiums. The Postal Service did not dispute that and on March 17, 2023, they provided a list of over 1000 APWU employees who were owed refunds. The amount being refunded is over $575,000 to our members. The largest refund being over $3000 and the smallest being about $56. Employees should begin seeing these refunds on their paychecks anytime—if not already. My assistant, Lee Branca, is in the process of informing locals of what persons in their local are owed money and how much. Presidents should be on the lookout for an email from Lee Branca with this information.
Some employees still may not be counted correctly but remember-- the USPS Non-Career Health Plan is NOT an FEHB plan and time in that plan does not count towards the qualifying for the preferred rate. I ask that if a local identifies a possible issue to email the employee’s name, EIN, date they first signed up for an FEHB plan as a PSE—, and the date they were converted to career to my assistanct Lee Branca (email@example.com) for further investigation and attempt to resolve. Again, the list of names will be sent to each local by Lee. However, I will be sending out full list to the Regional Coordinators and the NBAs in a separate email for reference. You may share this email with the field, but not the list of names and amounts as it has personal identifiable information (PII) that must be protected.