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February 01, 2012

American plans health care plans overhaul

American Airlines plans to overhaul its employee healthcare plans so that all employee groups will have just three options to choose from. They include:

1) Standard Plan

2) Core Plan – Health Savings Account-compatible option

3) Value Plan – Voluntary, non-contractual medical option offered at higher monthly contributions

Employee Contributions – All employees will contribute an aggregate 23 percent of total projected 2012 healthcare expenses, which would include medical, prescription and administrative expenses. Employee plan contributions will increase based on the plan’s inflation.

Other details include:

Preventative Care – The company would pay for 100 percent of preventative care in all healthcare options.

New Hires – New employees eligible for healthcare coverage will default to the Core option, which is the Health Savings Account-compatible medical option, for Employee Only coverage on their eligibility date, should another option or level not be elected during their initial enrollment.

Wellness Program – All employees enrolled in the medical options will have the ability to earn incentives for participating in the Healthmatters wellness program, provided they meet the criteria established by American and provided American continues offering incentives in any plan year. 

In addition to the universal healthcare changes, American said it would continue to offer healthcare options to part-time TWU employees at an increased employee cost share (with the exception of employees opting for Employee Only coverage).

American, in its proposals for restructuring its employee healthcare plans, said its costs are now higher than those of its primary competitors and far above what most other businesses pay. It cites a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation that reports that employees paid about 27 percent towards their healthcare plan costs, in addition to out-of-pocket costs.

- Bob Cox


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