Negotiations to resume in April
Providence St. Peter Hospital has been in contract negotiations with SEIU since June 2012. SEIU represents housekeepers, dietary workers, admitting clerks and a number of medical technicians that work throughout the hospital. SEIU Healthcare 1199NW conducted a strike March 11-16, 2013.
Providence remains committed to bargaining in good faith with SEIU to reach a fair contract resolution. The federal mediator has scheduled another negotiating session in April and we have a very competitive offer on the table that includes a wage increase, a choice of three different benefit plans and a retirement plan.
Contrary to some of the claims made by SEIU during the strike, our plans have been carefully crafted to encourage and allow our employees to access health care when they need it. There were small and incremental cost increases in some cases, but none that would prevent anyone from getting care.
Providence has been serving the community for more than 125 years.
We are a not-for-profit health provider. We do not have stock holders or investors. Any excess revenue is used to pay for services and facilities in the communities we serve. We are very much a part of the community and we would not be able to serve our patients without our employees and community support. We take very seriously our responsibility to attract and retain excellent employees and to meet the needs of our growing community ---all in a very difficult and changing economic and health care environment
We Value Our Employees
We value our employees and know they take the Providence Mission to heart. Our goal is to develop a contract agreement that benefits our employees as well as the community we serve.
Our current contract offer to SEIU and our employees includes a wage increase and benefit package with medical, vision and dental, plus a retirement plan. This contract offer in general and our health plan options in particular are very competitive with other regional health care providers. The offer also includes salary increases at a time when many workers have been living with wage freezes or wage reductions.
We believe that bargaining should be done at the bargaining table, not in the press. We have bargained in good faith and continue to do so. We are confident that our decisions regarding the medical plans are consistent with our mission, our contractual obligations and the law.
Providence Medical Plan Facts
We think it’s important that those who have questions about recent changes to our medical plan know the facts.
Providence St. Peter Hospital offers its employees three distinct medical plan options to meet their individual needs. Two of the plans cover medications for chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes and high blood pressure at no cost to the employee. In addition, if employees simply take a confidential wellness screening and verify that they have a primary care provider, an additional $700 or $1,400 (single or family coverage) is available to help offset copays and deductibles.
- None of the plans are considered catastrophic coverage. Catastrophic plans are individual or family health insurance plans that mainly focus on coverage for hospitalization or serious illness, and they may also be referred to as hospital-only or short-term plans. Catastrophic plans may not provide coverage for other services such as prescription drugs, regular doctor’s visits, immunizations or checkups – and Providence’s plans do provide coverage for these services.
- The plans offered by PSPH pay 80% of the cost for care (in network) after the initial deductible is met, and then pay 100% once the out of pocket maximum is met. Additionally, all PSPH plans have comprehensive prescription drug benefits, preventive benefits as well as care for acute and chronic conditions. Under the Health Reimbursement Medical Plan (HRA), the out-of-pocket maximum for a family has decreased significantly – by $1,300. This means that if a member of your family falls seriously ill, you will be paying less out-of-pocket to care for them.
- In most cases premiums have been reduced so employees and their families are not paying for coverage they don’t use, and deductibles increased slightly so you are only contributing financially to the care you actually use. We took special care to ensure that deductibles did not increase by an unreasonable amount. With the addition of the $1,400 that Providence provides to employees who have completed the wellness incentive, the family deductible under the HRA increased only by $150.
- Federal health care reform mandates 100% coverage for preventive care, but Providence has gone the extra step to also provide employees with coverage for many preventive medications for chronic illnesses like diabetes and asthma, which can be accessed before a deductible is ever met. Prescriptions that are not considered preventive will either cost $10 if they are generic or $10 after the deductible is met, depending on the individual’s healthcare plan. All prescription costs can be paid for out of the earned health incentive funds Providence loads into an employee’s HRA or HSA account. Those dollars ($700 for an individual and $1,400 for a family) are available at the beginning of the year to use right away toward medical costs, including prescription costs.