Special section: SPEEA/Boeing open enrollment Nov. 7-28
Continued on page 6
Changes and new options
available for medical
coverage at Boeing in 2018
Open enrollment, the time period each year when employees can change their medical plans, is Nov. 7 - 28 at The
For the first time in nine years, the medical plans
available to SPEEA-represented individuals are
changing in 2018. Open enrollment is your
opportunity to review the changed plans and
choose which plan provides the best coverage
for you and your family. Most of the changes
to the plans are limited to the “highly visible
items” such as deductibles, co-pays, coinsurance
and premiums. The underlying plan benefits and
administrators are largely the same.
When reviewing the annual open enroll-ment information from The Boeing Company,
keep the following in mind:
• Routine changes – This is the only time
of the year you can make routine changes
to your health care coverage. If you opt for
a different plan, changes take effect Jan.
1, 2018. The good news is any change
you make for this year is only locked in
for a single year. If you’re unhappy with a
change you made for 2018, you can make
a change for the following year during
open enrollment for 2019.
• Deadline for correcting mistakes – Even
if you don’t change your benefits package,
you will receive a confirmation letter in
the mail. You have a limited amount of
time to request a correction. Make sure
your home address is correct in Total
Compare and choose a medical plan
Advantage+ – 0% premium contribution
• Contractual improvements make this
plan more attractive, and it will likely
become the most popular plan. For
2018, the annual deductibles are lower
and Health Savings Account (HSA)
contributions by the company have been
• Anyone may be covered by the
Advantage+ plan. But, not everyone is eligible to establish and fund the associated
Health Savings Account (HSA). Ensure
you understand the rules of HSAs, online
• Because the Advantage+ plan uses the
exact same network as the Traditional
Medical Plan, and after the annual
deductible is met, the plans are very
similar, those eligible to make an HSA
contribution will most likely enroll in
the Advantage+ plan because logically,
it is the best choice for the vast majority
of individuals currently enrolled in the
Traditional Medical Plan for 2018.
Traditional Medical Plan –
5% premium contribution
• Historically, more than 80% of SPEEA-represented Professional and Technical
workers are in the Traditional Medical Plan
(TMP). However, the plan is experiencing
the most changes for 2018. We believe
most who were covered by TMP will change
to Advantage+ plan due to the lack of premiums and the tax-advantaged HSA.
• Gone are the sliding-scale deductibles and
$15 co-pays. These are replaced with a
$300 deductible and 10% medical coinsurance. After your deductible is satisfied,
the more expensive your service, the more
expensive your 10% share becomes.
• Additionally, employees covering themselves on the TMP are now required
to pay 5% of the cost of the plan. This
equals $382 a year. Those covering
themselves and a spouse or a child (or
more than one child) will pay $763 per
year. Anyone covering themselves, plus
a spouse and a child (or more than one
child) will pay $1,145 per year.
A Health Savings Account (HSA) is a tax-exempt account you set up with an HSA custodian to reimburse yourself for certain medical expenses you incur.
HSAs are individually owned (similar to an
IRA), portable if you change employers and
are 100% vested at all times.
HSAs are commonly referred to as a “
triple-tax-advantaged” method to pay for health-care
expenses. Contributions are pre-tax, the funds
can grow income-tax deferred, and if funds
are spent on eligible medical expenses, they
are completely income-tax free.
Not everyone is eligible to establish and
contribute to an HSA. There are many
restrictions. Some are listed below.
• An individual must be covered by a
HSA-qualified High Deducible Health
Plan (HDHP). Boeing’s Advantage+
medical plan is a qualified HDHP.
• You may not have other health coverage except what is permitted (such as
dental and vision). If you are “double
covered” by your spouse’s non-HDHP
medical plan, you are not eligible to
contribute to an HSA.
• If you are enrolled in Medicare, or if
you can be claimed as a dependent on
someone else's tax return, then you are
not eligible to contribute to an HSA.
HSA funds may be used for eligible medical expenses for you or any of your IRS tax
dependents, even if they are not covered by the
HDHP. The IRS determines which medical
expenses qualify, but they include all the items
subject to the HDHP medical plan deductible, as well as dental and vision expenses. In
addition to eligible medical expenses, HSA
funds may also be used to pay for Medicare
Part B and D premiums income-tax free.
“Someone should not blindly enroll in the
Advantage+ plan assuming they are eligible,”
said Matt Kempf, SPEEA senior director
of compensation and retirement. “Health
Savings Accounts are a personal relationship between the employee and the IRS, but
because they can be used at any time for future
eligible medical expenses, they can be a powerful part of a comprehensive retirement plan.”
Individuals interested in HSAs should read
IRS Publication 969 and the material available
About this special section
Matt Kempf, SPEEA senior director of compensation and retirement, and Jason Collette, SPEEA
contract administrator and benefits coordinator,
produced the content for this special section to
highlight changes to benefits starting in 2018.