July’s Open Enrollment period is always an exciting time at SEIU 775 Benefits Group. The annual 20-day period is a culmination of our team’s hard work helping caregivers understand their health benefits and easily sign up for coverage.
This year is by far one of our most important Open Enrollments because we’re introducing Coverage for Kids. This means the same high-quality, affordable coverage caregivers have is now available for their dependent children!
“Offering Coverage for Kids marks the fulfillment of our long-held goal to ensure caregivers, like other healthcare professionals, can add their children to their health insurance. We applaud our state lawmakers for investing the resources to bring improved parity for this vital workforce,” said Christina Johansen, Deputy Director of SEIU 775 Benefits Group’s Health Benefits Trust.
This momentous change – along with several other meaningful improvements – means Washington state’s leading-edge health coverage for caregivers will be even stronger.
Caregivers Can Sign Their Kids Up for Coverage
As a result of this legislative investment, caregivers – for the first time ever – are able to sign their kids up for health coverage through SEIU 775 Benefits Group when they work 120 or more hours per month.
Many caregivers have expressed excitement about signing up their children. “With all the different medical appointments we have, medical bills add up really, really fast,” said Alyssa E., a caregiver and mother of 2 kids from Sedro-Woolley, WA. “It’s huge – knowing I can get them the resources they need without having to be concerned about the costs.”
“It’s huge – knowing I can get them the resources they need without having to be concerned about the costs… It’s just a big burden off my shoulders.” – Alyssa E., caregiver, Sedro-Woolley, WA
For $100 per month, caregivers can sign up their children (no matter how many) for medical and dental insurance. They can also enroll them in only dental insurance for $10 per month.
Strengthened Access to Care and Reduced Out-Of-Pocket Costs
- Increased Access to Alternative Care: While our health plans previously offered between 8-12 annual visits to an acupuncturist or chiropractor, caregivers will now have up to 20 visits each. In addition, naturopathic visits are now unlimited. This is especially vital given the high rate of musculoskeletal issues and low back pain among caregivers.
- Increased Access to Infertility Care: The lifetime limit covered for infertility care for all our plans with increase to $50,000. Additionally, all plans’ related medical cost shares will be 0%, and fertility-related pharmacy cost shares were lowered across plans.
- Reduced Insulin Costs: The cost share will be reduced to $0 for preferred generic and preferred brand insulin.
Health plan improvements such as these offer a great benefit to anyone, especially to caregivers. Many of our plan participants haven’t had access to consistent health insurance, putting them at greater risk of chronic health conditions. And the demands of their job, from high risk of injury to exacerbated anxiety and depression rates, underscore the importance of health coverage designed specifically for them.
The ultimate outcome of these enhancements is overall improved health for caregivers and their families, as well as the peace of mind that comes with good health coverage. Alyssa E., the caregiver and mother from Sedro-Woolley, summed it up best: “It’s just a big burden off my shoulders.”