UTU pact sweet as health care premiums soar
The UTU’s ratified national rail contract – locking in for six years a $200 monthly health care insurance premium — is looking even more attractive following a Kaiser Family Foundation study showing health care costs and health care premiums are rocketing into space.
Nationally, the average monthly premium for family health care insurance through an employer reached $1,256 in 2011, according to the study– and even higher monthly premiums are forecast in the years ahead.
Although employers generally pay a significant portion of those premiums, the employee share for private sector and federal workers is anywhere from almost double to more than double what is paid by rail workers under the recently ratified UTU national rail contract.
It is expected that most private-sector and government employees will be paying considerably more in health care insurance premiums in the years ahead, while those covered by the UTU national rail contract pay not a penny more for coverage through mid-2016. Moreover, the UTU national rail contract includes improvements in a health care plan already considered one of the most comprehensive in America.
The Kaiser Family Foundation study found that health care insurance premiums have doubled over the past 10 years, outstripping, for most Americans, the growth in wages.