New! Cover health care provider office visits, urgent care center visits and emergency room visits that result in an order for or administration of a diagnostic test for COVID-19 at no cost* to the member**
Cover COVID-19 testing at no cost* to the member when testing is prescribed by a clinical professional
Cover telehealth visits at no cost* to member when visits are performed through the Health Plan’s telehealth providers:
High Option: Visits through Amwell are available at www.amwell.com at no cost* to the member
Consumer Driven Option: Virtual visits through AmWell, Teladoc, and Doc on Demand are available at www.myuhc.com at no cost* to the member
Cover telehealth visits to network providers at no cost* to member when related to COVID-19
Waive inpatient prior authorization requirements related to COVID-19
Reminder: Members are encouraged to use mail order for maintenance medications which provides a 90-day refill and the delivery is free
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The APWU Health Plan will continue to evaluate benefit enhancements as a result of COVID-19. For the most up-to-date information visit our website at
The Health Plan will:
*All deductible, coinsurance and copays will be waived
**Your provider should be aware of this Families First Coronavirus Response Act and CDC guideline. If you are charged a copay or coinsurance at the time of your visit, you will be reimbursed by the Health Plan
The Postal Service has informed the APWU of the date that Postal Support Employees (PSEs) who have been employed in 125 workyear or larger offices for more than 2.5 years (30 months) will be converted to career status. Over 2,500 current PSEs will be converted on May 9, 2020, the beginning of pay period 11.
These conversions are consistent with the Interest Arbitration panel’s award issued on March 10, 2020. Conversions of PSEs was one of the demands your negotiators made from the very start of negotiations.
“Being able to achieve career status for PSEs was an important goal for us,” President Mark Dimondstein said. “These newly converted employees will see an immediate pay increase, an increase in benefits paid for by the Postal Service, guaranteed work hours, and in most cases fixed schedules.”
As a reminder, as newly converted career employees, these PSEs will have sixty-days (60) from May 9, 2020 (July 8, 2020), to make benefit decisions. New career employees may choose new health insurance plans, enroll in the Federal Employee Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) plan, choose how much to contribute to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), where to allocate TSP funds, and other benefits decisions. The Postal Service is supposed to send each newly converted employee a “benefits” book with all the necessary forms and instructions for making these extremely important decisions. The sixty-day limit is a hard limit and cannot be extended. Employees are encouraged to begin looking at their new benefits and not wait until the very end of the 60 days to decide.
“The importance of these conversions cannot be overstated,” Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks said. “This isn’t the end of our battle for more career employees. We are proud that the APWU did not see an increase in the allowable usage of non-career employees in our new contract and we will continue to fight for what is right — an all-career workforce.”
Under the new 2018 – 2021 National Agreement, employees will receive four retroactive pay raises. The current rates went into effect on February 29, 2020 and will be reflected for the first time in earnings for Pay Period 09-2020. Pay Period 09 begins Saturday, April 11. Pay checks will be dated for May 1, 2020. Retro pay covering the period from September 24, 2018 through April 10, 2020 will follow.
The Postal Service has yet to confirm a date that employees will receive retroactive pay. Recently passed laws regarding the COVID-19 pandemic providing new and additional benefits to employees require immediate and extensive programming and have delayed the Postal Service’s confirmation of the date.
WHAT IF I AM NO LONGER WORKING AT USPS OR IN AN APWU BARGAINING UNIT?
Employees who worked during the retroactive period will be paid the higher rates due for that work. Workers who transferred, separated, quit, retired, deceased, etc. will be compensated for any time worked when higher rates were due. The higher rates will be reflected in adjustments to TSP, Retirement, terminal leave payments, and life insurance. Retirees will eventually get any necessary adjustments to annuity payments – including retroactive annuity adjustments.
NEW SCHEDULE, NEW STEPS
Employees in the new pay schedule in Grades 5 through 7 could not progress beyond Step J in the last contract. With the new contract, employees in Grade 5 can progress to Step K and those in Grades 6 and 7 can move into steps K and L. Employees in Grade 8 stopped at Step K in the last contract; now they can progress into Steps L and M. The step wait time for all steps for Grades 5 though 7 is 36 weeks. For Grade 8 steps, the wait time is 30 weeks.
Most employees on the new schedule are well below the previous top steps, but about 200 employees are immediately eligible to move into the new steps. Eligible employees will be moved into the higher steps in Pay Period 11, effective May 9. They will move based on time waited in the previous top step. For example, a Grade 6 Step J employee who has been in Step J for 20 weeks would wait another 16 weeks before moving to Step K. Someone who has waited 40 weeks in Step J would move into Step K in PP 11-2020 with 4 weeks of wait time credit for advancement to Step L. An employee with 72 weeks of wait time in Step J would skip Step K and move into Step L in PP 11-2020.