The healthcare premiums for the State Health Benefits Program are scheduled to increase January 1, 2023. University Hospital and HPAE negotiated the Chapter 78 rates with the State.
Our negotiations unit employees are currently enrolled in the Chapter 78 PPO and HMO plans (NJ Direct 15, NJ Direct 15/25, or the High Deductible plan) and the final approved premium increase is 19.6%. There is no increase in copays for the PPO plans. The Specialist Copy will increase from $15 to $30 for the Tiered Network plan and the HMO plan. The Urgent Care Copy will increase from $15 to $45 for the Tiered Network plan and the HMO plan.
There is another option! We recently negotiated an additional PPO option for UH negotiations unit employees.
The negotiated plan is based off your current salary and not the cost of the premium. The premium increase for these Unity/NJ Direct and Unity NJ Direct 2019 plans will be 3% starting in January 2023 for those employees who are participating in the Unity/NJ Direct plans and Unity NJ Direct 2019. Specialist Copay for the NJ Direct/Unity plans is $30 and will also apply to the Tiered Network plan and the HMO plan. The Urgent Care Copy is $45 and will also apply to the Tiered Network plan and the HMO plan. There will be no changes of copays for the treatment of OB/GYN for any plan type.
We will be holding a series of information sessions jointly with University Hospital to further explain these changes. A schedule will be announced once confirmed. We encourage everyone to sign up to hear about the changes to the healthcare benefits. There will be a special open enrollment period in December to elect changes in your healthcare if you choose to make them with the changes going into effect in January.
Changes to Per Diem Staff Nurse Commitment
As a reminder, the contractual per diem staff nurse commitment has changed effective August 3, 2022. The requirement is for 1 full weekend (Saturday/Sunday) per month, 1 weekday shift per month, and 1 winter or summer holiday per year (alternating annually). If you have any questions regarding these changes, please reach out a HPAE representative for more information.
Influenza Vaccine Compliance
Any staff member, provider, or medical staff member who has not received an influenza vaccination, or an approved medical exemption or religious accommodation, on November 30, 2022, will be salary deleted and/or have their privileges suspended on that date and denied access to University Hospital owned or leased property.
Employees can receive their shots at Employee Health Services (UH G-100) weekdays between 7 am – 5 pm, and in the Cafeteria (B-Level) every Thursday between 11 am – 2 pm. In addition, departments with large numbers of staff can arrange for a health care professional to come on site.
The links for Medical Exemption and Religious Accommodation forms are below.
Medical Exception Form
Vaccination Accommodation Form
Handle with Care
We strongly encourage all staff to participate and attend the Handle With Care Training program. Those that sign up should use an education day for the training. The program is designed to provide our bargaining unit employees with increased skills to effectively manage aggressive situations in a manner that ensures the safety of patients and staff. Please consider signing up for one of the remaining classes this year by contacting Barbara Holloman at email@example.com:
- 11/22/2022 8a-4pm D 230
- 12/6/2022 8a-4 pm D 230
Vacation time Carryover
This is a reminder that HPAE negotiations unit employees who are eligible to accrue paid time off may only carry forward into the next calendar year the equivalent of one year of accrued vacation days. To avoid forfeiting credited vacation time in excess of the carryover cap, negotiations unit employees are encouraged to work with their supervisors to develop a plan to use excess vacation time prior to December 31, 2022.
Banita Herndon, President, Local 5089