RX/TX Bargaining Report #5
March 30, 2011

UC and UPTE met last week to bargain over benefits. Discussion of the unprecedented and unexpected increases in Health Net premiums continued. UPTE has submitted numerous requests for information to assess and analyze the processes used by UC that resulted in these costly decisions for our members. So far, UC has responded to several of our requests; however, it is still refusing to bargain over the 2011 Blue Cross Anthem premium costs, which were increased significantly.

UC stated Health Net Blue & Gold was added as an affordable option after the 2011 Health Net HMO bid came in at substantially higher rates than 2010. Sutter Health, Scripps, and Alta Bates failed to agree with Health Net on the Blue & Gold cost limits. A vast majority of UPTE members were forced to change plans as the costs of retaining their Health Net HMO doctors became completely unaffordable.

UC admits that numerous physicians, who were not part of Health Net Blue & Gold at the start of open enrollment last October, have since been added. But, UC has failed to notify our members that a Blue & Gold provider may now be available and could offer services closer to home. UPTE has just been informed that Blue & Gold is adding new providers frequently, yet UC is refusing to hold another open enrollment.

Members who stayed with the high priced Health Net may now learn that a Blue & Gold provider is available, but UC is not allowing them to switch over. Our members at UC Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara do not even have a Kaiser facility and are especially burdened with long drives to get to an affordable provider.

UPTE has requested a current list of all Blue & Gold providers and will make that information available. UPTE has also requested that UC notify all employees that more Blue & Gold providers have been added since open enrollment last fall. In the meantime, check UC’s web site for current listings of all Blue & Gold providers or check with Health Net.

You may receive a breach of privacy notice from Health Net if you are a current or former participant. Personal data from their Rancho Cordova data center may have been compromised. As a result, Health Net is offering two years of free identity theft insurance and credit monitoring services. Check the notice for enrollment details.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for April 20, in Oakland. Inputs, comments, and questions from UPTE member are not only welcomed, but appreciated.

Your RX/TX Bargaining Team:
Wendi Felson, Chief Negotiator
Mike Fehr, Computer Resource Specialist, UCLA
Anthony Fernandez, Radiation Safety Technician, LBNL
Karen Galbreath, Animal Health Technician, UCD  
Bryan Pettengill, Computer Resource Specialist, UCSD