A global pandemic is no time to lose your healthcare. Our union’s largest health and welfare plan, TeamCare, can protect Teamsters and their families by suspending its restrictive one-punch and three-punch rules and making sure laid off Teamsters keep their benefits.
Thousands of Teamsters are laid off. If this crisis continues, thousands of more Teamsters will face layoffs and lose their health benefits as a result.
Under TeamCare rules, freight and carhaul Teamsters have to work three days per week, or lose their benefits, unless they pay a hefty COBRA fee.
UPS and UPS Freight Teamsters have to work at least one day per week, under the one-punch rule, to maintain their healthcare coverage.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. TeamCare has the money and the ability to step up and help.
Note: the IBT has made an agreement with carhaul companies to extend health insurance coverage for the first two weeks of layoffs. However, it seems likely that layoffs will last longer than two weeks.
$7 Billion in Reserves
TeamCare has over $7 billion in reserves. If that sounds like a lot, it is!
TeamCare paid $3.2 billion in benefits last year so $7 billion equals 26 months of reserves. Most funds have three to six months of reserves.
Having fat reserves is a good thing. It means that a small fraction of this money can be used to help Teamsters come through the COVID-19 crisis with their benefits intact.
Suspend the One-Punch & Three-Punch Rules
TeamCare should suspend the one-punch rule and monitor its reserves as we move through this crisis together. Not every Teamster health and welfare fund can afford to do this. But TeamCare can.
TeamCare has a $7 billion rainy day fund—and the clouds don’t get any darker than they are right now.
Fund trustees need to do the right thing and waive its one-punch and three-punch rules and make sure laid off Teamsters, who have already lost their income, don’t lose their healthcare too.