Early rail retiree insurance cap raised

November 25, 2009

UTU 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 increase 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. Once the employee qualifies for Medicare or attains age 65, ERMA no longer covers the employee or dependents.

The maximum will increase $5,900 over the current $113,000 for a new maximum of $118,900.

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 2009 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.