Questions from CWA Local 1298 members regarding the VSP
- For retirement eligible employees, once I turn 65, do I have to sign up for Medicare Part B or can I keep the Frontier plan until the 3 years end?
Yes, you will have to sign up for Medicare Part B. Frontier Retiree Medical Plan will coordinate with Medicare for your coverage.
- If I am already Medicare eligible, when do I have to sign up for Medicare Part B?
Yes, you are required to sign up for Medicare B prior to 1/1/2020.
- How exactly will the medical look for a Medicare eligible employee, what is primary and what is secondary, do I need to look for a supplement i.e. a Medi-Gap plan?
Medicare will be your primary coverage and coordinated with the Frontier Retiree Medical Plan. During the three years of coverage you should not enroll in a supplemental Medicare Plan or any Medicare D Pharmacy Plan.
- Does the Medicare Part B reimbursement of $33 automatically begin once I go to Medicare Part B? Does my spouse qualify for this reimbursement as well? Can I get this reimbursement if I opt to not have the Frontier medical for 3 years?
Medicare Part B reimbursement is not automatic. You must provide Milliman with your Medicare ID number in order to receive reimbursement. Yes, even if you opt not to have Frontier Medical for 3 years you can receive the $33 reimbursement for Medicare Part B. Your spouse may also qualify for reimbursement.
- If I am retirement eligible and opt to take my pension as an annuity, can my monthly payment for medical be taken out of that payment?
- If I take the VSP but decline the medical plan, can I keep the dental and vision at no cost to me? If yes, how long can I keep this?
If you decline the medical plan, you can keep dental and vision coverage.
- If I stay and not take the VSP and decide to leave by way of retirement at another time during this contract, do I get the same medical as my current active medical, and how long will that last?
Your Retiree Medical benefits will be determined by your collective bargaining agreement.
- Who is the plan administrator for the retiree life insurance?
Milliman is the Plan Administrator and Securian is the insurance carrier.
- What is the level of benefits covered by the retiree life insurance?
For employees hired prior to or on 8/8/2009, Basic Life Insurance is 1times your base salary as of 12/31/2009 rounded up to the nearest $10,000. Basic Life Insurance reduces by 10% starting at age 66 until age 70.
Employees hired after 8/8/2009 are eligible for $15,000 of Basic Life Insurance.
- Do we still maintain the supplements for the life insurance under the retiree life insurance (for employee)? How are those supplements paid i.e. via monthly pension check or direct debit?
Yes, supplemental life insurance is available for retirees under age 65. Monthly premiums can be paid either via monthly pension annuity, check or direct checking account debit.
- Can I keep the same life insurance that I currently have for my spouse and or dependents?
You can convert the spousal and child life coverage by contacting Securian at 866-744-0039.
- Do I keep the AD&D once I retire?
You can convert to an individual policy by contacting Zurich at 1-800-834-1959.
- If Frontier files for bankruptcy, is my pension protected?
ERISA provides protections for pension plan accrued benefits. These apply even when a company is restructuring in Chapter 11 and include PBGC guarantees of most benefits, subject to a monthly maximum. In accordance with the law, while a Company is restructuring in Chapter 11, participants who elect to retire will only be able to take a pension distribution in the form of an annuity, lump sum payments are not an option. However, once the company emerges from Chapter 11, the balance of a participant’s pension benefit can be made in the form of a lump sum payment.
- If Frontier files for bankruptcy, is my retiree healthcare protected? Is there going to be a separate account set up for this medical plan so it can’t be changed or taken away?
ERISA protection under bankruptcy is specific to pension benefits. No separate account will be established for retiree healthcare benefits.
- If I am retirement eligible and take the VSP and receive 3 years of medical and the union gets a new contract in 2021 that makes the active medical payment cost increase for 2022, does this effect the 3rd year of my medical, or am I guaranteed at this current rate for the entire 3 years?
The cost of your medical coverage will be the same as the cost for active employees under the contract in place for 2022.