Special section: SPEEA/Boeing open enrollment Nov. 7-28
A new way to cut
The Preferred Partnership network option is a new way in 2018 for members to poten- tially reduce monthly premiums they pay
for any of the three self-funded medical plans.
The option is available for the Advantage+,
Traditional Medical and Select Network plans. If
selected, your entire network of providers is replaced
with the University of Washington Accountable
Care Organization (UW ACO). Find out which
providers are covered in the UW ACO online at
The limited network is one of the only downsides
with the Preferred Partnership network option.
While the Advantage+ plan and Traditional
Medical Plan cover non-network benefits, they
are much costlier than if you stick to providers
who are in-network. The Select Network has no
A single enrollee in the Preferred Partnership network option receives a $30 monthly reduction
in health-care premiums. The reduction is $60
a month for enrollees covering themselves and a
spouse or child(ren). If you are covering yourself,
spouse and child(ren), the monthly health-care
premium is reduced by $90. Additionally, for
those enrolled in the Advantage+ plan, Boeing
will increase the HSA contributions to $1,350
for an individual or $2,700 for the family plan
(i.e. 100% of the deductible).
In addition to saving on monthly premiums,
this network option should provide an enhanced
health-care experience with more highly
coordinated electronic health records and
enhanced care coordination for complex issues
or multiple diagnoses. Additionally, when the
option is combined with the Traditional Medical
Plan or Select Network, primary care and generic
drugs are free. On the Advantage+ plan, primary
care and generic drugs are free after the annual
deductible is satisfied.
Limits outside of Puget Sound
The Preferred Partnership network option is best
suited for people living within the UW ACO service
area. People living outside the UW ACO service
area, and those living inside the service area but have
dependent children living outside the Puget Sound,
will likely want to avoid this option because of the
very limited number of service providers available
outside the Puget Sound area. However, for people
who currently see UW providers and/or live inside
the UW ACO service area and are willing to live with
the restricted provider list, the Preferred Partnership
network option can reduce monthly premiums while
potentially enhancing your health care experience.
Company will soon pick up tab for long-term
disability benefit for Prof and Techs
SPEEA Professional and Technical Units will see a change to the long-term disability plan starting Jan. 1.
Instead of needing to “opt into” the 60% plan
and paying the premium, represented employees
will be automatically enrolled in the 50% base
plan, and Boeing will pay the premium. While
this ensures everyone in the bargaining units has
long-term disability coverage, there are tradeoffs.
By law, the taxable portion of disability benefit
amounts is determined by who pays the premiums. Today, when SPEEA members utilize
their long-term disability coverage, the benefit is
60% of their pre-disability salary, which is paid
income-tax free. After Jan. 1, the company-paid
benefit is 50% of the employee’s pre-disability
salary, and because the costs are paid by the company, the benefit is taxable as income.
Represented employees will have the option to
buy an additional 10% coverage, which will
remain income-tax free since the member will be
paying the premium. Those who currently have
long-term disability insurance should automatically be enrolled in the 10% additional coverage,
but it is up to the employee to ensure that they
are enrolled in the 10% additional plan during
annual open enrollment.
Proof of insurability
Roughly one-fourth of SPEEA Prof and Tech
members currently lack long-term disability
insurance. Members who do not have coverage today will need to go through the evidence-of-insurability process to receive the additional
Learn more at SPEEA meetings
SPEEA Council Reps at Boeing scheduled nearly 50 lunchtime meetings on the upcoming benefit changes for members
to learn more and ask questions.
See the schedule at www.speea.org.
Due to the demand for open enrollment infor-
mation, SPEEA is also hosting four separate
after-hours presentations at the Puget Sound
halls with the option for viewing online through
a webinar link.
• SPEEA Everett - Nov. 15 and Nov. 21 at
4 p.m. (RSVP - firstname.lastname@example.org)
• SPEEA Tukwila - Nov. 15 and Nov. 21
at 5 p.m. (RSVP - email@example.com)
See the online calendar for details (including
links to register for the webinars).
Changes coming to health-risk
As part of the changes to the medical benefits for the current collective bargainingagreements, SPEEAmembers
and their covered spouses who do not complete
the online health assessment will be assessed
a non-compliance fee of $20 per month per
Boeing encourages participation as a means
for individuals to become more aware of their
health-risk factors. Addressing health-risk factors
early is a way to potentially lower the health-care
costs for the employee and the company. In addition to raising awareness of potential illnesses,
the lowered health-care costs directly affect the
company’s bottom line because the majority of
medical plans are self-funded.
Taking the health assessment is available through
TotalAccess. Once you’ve located the health
assessment link, members are redirected to a
WebMD portal. Members have until the end
of open enrollment, Nov. 28, to complete the
The contract also references health screenings, but Boeing opted to waive this require-ment. Members can still receive screenings from
the onsite nurses, but no penalty will apply for
As called out in the collective bargaining agreements, the health-assessment data is collected
by a third party. This data is subject to the privacy laws of the Health Insurance Portability
and Accountability Act (HIPAA) at all times.
Additionally, individual employee assessment
results shall not be disclosed to Boeing employees.