The Electrical Worker online
July 2017

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Health Care for Us, by Us

In last month's Electrical Worker, you read a story about how leaders at Houston Local 66 are making the IBEW's health plan work for them, using it to organize more than 100 new members at the STP nuclear plant in southeast Texas.

The IBEW/NECA Family Medical Care Plan has been around for more than a decade now, and as it nears 100,000 participants, we're proud of the coverage it provides and the savings it's been able to achieve.

As you well know, skyrocketing health care prices continue to give us headaches, not just at the doctor's office, but at the bargaining table as well.

We're able to provide quality, affordable insurance with the FMCP because the plan isn't about making money. It's not about paying out shareholders and CEOs or buying expensive advertisements. It exists for one purpose only — to provide top-notch health coverage to IBEW members and their families at a reasonable cost.

So far, in every one of the 165 local unions that have adopted the FMCP, the IBEW/NECA plan has been able to offer equal or better insurance than what the company was providing before for the same or lower costs. We're proud of that, and we'll do even better as more and more locals sign up.

Employers are paying attention as well. CenterPoint Energy in Texas saved more than $5 million a year when their employees in Texas joined the FMCP in 2014. Today, they're one of seven Fortune 500 companies participating in the plan. As FMCP's Larry Bradley said, "They're not doing it because they love the IBEW. They're doing it because it makes financial sense."

So, I encourage business managers and negotiating committees in every branch of the IBEW to take a serious look at adding the FMCP to your bargaining toolkit. Get in touch with the FMCP and get a quote, because every dollar saved on health care is a dollar that goes back on the table for our members. That's why this plan exists in the first place.

Houston's success provides a blueprint that others can follow, but I know there are no limits to the creativity of our local unions. I'm excited to see how even more locals put this powerful tool to use improving the lives of our members in the future. z


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Kenneth W. Cooper

Kenneth W. Cooper
International Secretary-Treasurer