VERIZON STRIKE: Continuing Medical Coverage While on Strike

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TO:  CWA Members on Strike Against Verizon
FROM: Dennis G. Trainor, Vice President District 1
RE:  VERIZON STRIKE: Continuing Medical Coverage While on Strike

There have been many questions raised related to continuing medical coverage during the strike.  Here are some facts that will help answer those questions.

  1. Verizon has announced that it is cancelling health benefits for striking workers beginning May 1, 2016.
  2. CWA has pledged that no striking member or family member will go without medically necessary health care during the strike.  CWA will pay for all necessary medical/hospital expenses incurred on May 1, 2016 or later.
  3. The term “necessary” does not include any treatment not normally covered under the Verizon Medical Plan, nor does it cover any elective procedures or dental work that can be postponed until after the strike.  PLEASE CANCEL AND PLAN TO RESCHEDULE ANY WELL DOCTOR VISITS, ELECTIVE PROCEDURES AND DENTAL CLEANING/EXAMS THAT ARE SCHEDULED AFTER MAY 1, 2016.

  4. All medical bills for which you are requesting payment should include the name of the patient, date of treatment, name of provider, service rendered and where the bill should be mailed.
  5. In limited cases the CWA Fund Director for District 1 will authorize payment of COBRA premiums on behalf of strikers and their families, IF YOU OR A FAMILY MEMBER HAS A SERIOUS, CHRONIC MEDICAL CONDITION.  TO APPLY, YOU SHOULD SPEAK IMMEDIATELY TO YOUR LOCAL MEMBER RELIEF FUND COORDINATOR AND REQUEST A “CWA REQUEST FOR COBRA PAYMENT” FORM.  MAKE SURE THAT WHEN YOU FILL OUT THE FORM YOU INCLUDE ANY SUPPORTING MEDICAL DOCUMENTATION.

  6.  The Local will get the form to the CWA Fund Director for District 1 for review and determination.
  7. If a member is approved for continuing medical coverage through COBRA, CWA will pay the required premium.  The member will continue to be responsible for any copays, deductibles and coinsurance amounts applicable to the health plan.
  8. STRIKERS WHO CAN OBTAIN HEALTH CARE COVERAGE THROUGH A SPOUSE OR PARENT DURING THE STRIKE SHOULD DO SO.

  9.  Members who were on company paid disability before the strike began and continue to be medically disabled will not have their insurance cancelled.  Verizon will consider them to be disabled and will continue health insurance coverage.
  10.  Any person who was retired before the date of the strike will not have their retirement benefits or health insurance impacted at all.

Again, I must stress that no striker or striker’s family member will be without necessary medical coverage during the strike.  If you have any questions at all, please call your Local MRF Coordinator, our team will be working closely with them.

In solidarity,

Dennis G. Trainor, Vice President District 1
Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO