UTU members covered by the Railroad Employees’ National Vision Plan will see improvements in the program effective Jan. 1 when benefits formerly provided by VSP will be administered by EyeMed Vision Care. 

Enhancements include: 

A larger national network of providers, consisting of both independent and retail-affiliated providers; 

Five of the top six eye-care providers – LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical and JCPenney Optical – will participate in the program; 

• Employees will receive identification cards to ensure eligibility and benefits; 

• Those insured will enjoy greater discounts (40 percent versus the current 30 percent) on complete second pair purchases. There are no restrictions on how often or where an insured member can use the EyeMed additional-pairs discount; it applies at all in-network locations, at any time. 

• Members are eligible for discounts on LASIK or PRK services

• During 2013, each member can receive a $60 discount on non-prescription Ray-Ban polarized sunglasses at participating providers. Visit www.rayban.com and click on “store providers” to locate a participating provider; 

A no-cost discount plan for early retirees will be introduced. This plan will not be a part of the Railroad Employees National Vision Plan but will provide early retirees with savings on eye exams and material purchases at EyeMed provider locations. 

Workers covered by the vision-care plan should have received a postcard from EyeMed announcing the changeover. Covered participants will receive ID cards, information on participating providers and a summary of benefits by mail in January. 

For more details on the improvements, click here.

Railroad employees and/or their eligible dependents covered under the national railroad medical, prescription drug, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits plans may now find information about those benefits on a single web page.

The Railroad Information Depot webpage address is www.rrinfodepot.com 

Note that this web site pertains only to the nationally negotiated railroad health and welfare plans. If you and/or your eligible dependents are not covered by those benefits plans – and this includes Amtrak employees – you should continue to seek information about your health care benefits from your employer.

Each of the benefits administrators for rail employee health care insurance negotiated under the national railroad medical, prescription drug, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits plans hosts a home page at the Railroad Information Depot. The providers include Aetna, Highmark, MetLife, Medco, vsp, and United Healthcare.

By logging on to www.rrinfodepot.com, rail employees will find a central point of access for information about health care benefits, regardless of which benefits administrator provides coverage.

Here are some of the categories that will be available at the new website:

* Information on completing a health risk assessment to help you stop smoking, lose weight or become a happier person.

* Tips on reducing risks of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases that are largely preventable.

* Alerts and important dates regarding annual open enrollment periods.

* Current topics of interest and news on specific health issues.

* On-line access to each of the summary plan descriptions.

* Information on medical care, mental health, substance abuse, disease management, wellness programs, pharmacy, dental care, life insurance, vision care, and sickness benefits – regardless of the health care benefits administrator.

* Links to network providers, helpful tools and educational materials, contact information, and the various forms necessary for filing for benefits.

* A dedicated retirement section providing information and links to assist you in transitioning into retirement.

* Railroad Enrollment Services information to ensure you understand who is eligible for coverage under your plan and the documentation required.

Once at the website, you will be able to navigate over a topic to read more about what it offers; and, if it’s what you are looking for, you will need only to click on the topic to find more in-depth information.

Again, the website is:


VSP Vision Care is working to fulfill the eye care needs of those directly affected by recent tornadoes throughout the Midwest.

* Any VSP member who has lost or broken their eyewear due to the tornadoes may call the VSP member services support line at (800) 877-7195 to have their VSP benefits reinstated regardless of eligibility.

* Individuals without VSP coverage can contact their local American Red Cross chapter and request a VSP eye care voucher.