BARGAINING: AP revises wage, health proposals

The Associated Press introduced revised health insurance and wages proposals for Guild-covered employees, but the offer still more than doubles monthly premiums by 2022 for employees on the top-tier health plan.

The AP’s modified wages offer calls for: an $800 lump sum payment within 30 days of the ratification of a new contract; a 2 percent increase on July 1, 2019; a 1.5 percent increase on July 1, 2020; and a 1.5 percent increase on July 1, 2021.

The AP’s insurance proposal includes smaller increases for employees on the lower-tier basic health insurance plan, and it also includes the introduction of an optional high deductible health plan. The AP said it wanted to offer lower-cost options for employees who do not want to pay the higher cost of the premium plan.

The AP also accepted the Guild’s proposal to add insurance coverage for a commonly prescribed treatment for autism called applied behavioral analysis therapy. It would add Full Case Management to behavioral health claim benefits.

CLICK HERE to read the company proposal.

Right now, about 90 percent of bargaining unit members with AP insurance are on the premium plan. Here are the key differences in the health insurance plans:

The premium plan, which would cost $880 a month for a family plan by 2022, would have an individual deductible of $500 and a family deductible of $1,000 for in-network care. The premium plan out of pocket maximum for in-network care is $2,400 for an individual and $4,800 for a family. Employees on the premium plan would pay a coinsurance of 20 percent once the deductible is met.

The basic plan, which would cost $526 a month for a family plan by 2022, would have an individual deductible of $900 and a family deductible of $1,800 for in-network care. The basic plan out of pocket maximum for in-network care is $3,400 for an individual and $6,800 for a family. Employees on the basic plan would pay a coinsurance of 25 percent once the deductible is met.

AP does not currently offer a high deductible health plan. The one proposed Thursday would have the following design:

  • Monthly premiums would range from $50 for an individual to $197 for a family plan in 2019.
  • An individual deductible of $1,350 and a family deductible of $2,700.
  • The employee would pay a coinsurance of 20 percent once the deductible is met.
  • An annual out-of-pocket maximum of $6,750 for an individual or $13,500 for a family.
  • The employee would pay 20 percent for ER visits, office visits, hospital stays and prescription drugs.
  • The AP proposal does not include a company contribution to a pre-tax health savings account.

The Guild’s bargaining team has not yet responded to the company on its offer. Bargaining will resume Jan. 30.

Representing the Guild were Jill Bleed of Little Rock, Vin Cherwoo of New York Sports, technician Dave Herron of Seattle and administrator Kevin Keane.

Representing the AP were David Scott, deputy managing editor; attorney Steve Macri; Jessica Bruce, senior vice president for human resources and corporate communications; Sue Gilkey, global director of employee benefits; and Alison Quan, director of human resources, technology and business operations.