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News: 2012-09-24 St. Vincent More Health Insurance Changes Trigger Grievance

More Health Insurance Changes Trigger Grievance

Your contract negotiations completed in 2011 included significant changes to the health care benefits, including removing some options and adding an Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) with an increased deductible. You will remember that your negotiated agreement for 2013 also includes limits on premium increases.

Last month Providence released information about a new Health Insurance Plan (the Health Savings Account (HSA)) for 2013, as well as changes to your existing insurance plan (the HRA). While not all of the changes are negative, we were very surprised and disappointed to see that Providence is now trying nearly double your cost by adding a new monthly “spousal surcharge” of $150 to the HRA for 2013. The new spousal surcharge would be withheld from your paychecks each month if a spouse has an opportunity to obtain primary insurance through their employer, but declines that coverage. There are some exceptions if the insurance through the employer would be very expensive, or the spouse designates Providence insurance as secondary coverage.

Why are nurses surprised and upset?

Because we negotiated to have set premiums, net deductible and out-of-pocket maximum. (This is in your contract at page 33.)

What are we doing about it?

Our Providence facilities that are currently in negotiations (Seaside, Hood River, Home Health and Hospice, Milwaukie and Willamette Falls) will be negotiating over any proposed changes.

St. Vincent Medical Center (PSVMC) and Medford Medical Center (PMMC) do not have contract negotiations or re-opener clauses for 2013, and we locked in set premiums for 2013. Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) has filed grievances at PSVMC and PMMC on behalf of all nurses affected by the new surcharge. We believe Providence’s decision to add the spousal surcharge violates the contract by increasing monthly premiums. If deductions for this surcharge are made, we will demand that Providence re-pay all nurses required to pay the $150 surcharge under the HRA plan, with interest, and stop this change.

What can you do?

  • Send an email to your ONA leaders at and show us you support the grievance.
  • Send an email to Janice Berger about how an additional cost of $1,800.00 per year for a new surcharge will affect your family.
  • Stay updated on negotiations at other Providence facilities and get involved in their contract campaigns. We will be forwarding updates about other negotiations as they progress, or you can check back to the website for more updates.

We will keep you updated as this progresses. For more frequent updates, visit the St Vincent BU page here.





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