Early rail retiree insurance cap rises in 2015
SMART Transportation Division members and their dependents insured under the Railroad Employees National Early Retirement Major Medical Benefit (ERMA) Plan (GA-46000) will have their lifetime maximum amount of coverage increased, effective Jan. 1.
ERMA is a comprehensive benefits plan for employees who retire at or after age 60 with 30 years of service. The plan covers qualified employees, spouses and dependents until the employee reaches age 65. If the employee qualifies for Medicare before reaching 65, ERMA no longer covers the employee, but dependents continue coverage until the employee reaches age 65. ERMA is not applicable when any covered individual becomes Medicare eligible.
The lifetime maximum, effective Jan. 1, 2015, will be $145,800, an increase of $4,400.
The formula for increasing the lifetime maximum under ERMA was agreed upon by labor and management in 2001. The new lifetime maximum was derived by utilizing the October 2014 Consumer Price Index data for hospital and related services and physician services.
For individuals who have reached the lifetime maximum, the incremental maximum available is applied to eligible expenses submitted for dates of service on or after Jan. 1, the effective date of the new maximum.
This change will apply to all railroads and crafts participating in ERMA.