WEA Select Plans - distinct advantages
WEA Select plans reflect union values. They are run by educators for the benefit of educators. We come together to pool our resources in order to leverage our collective purchasing power so we all benefit by standing together.
WEA Select Plans are designed to be flexible in that each bargaining unit and/or employee group may select their own plan , as long as there are 25 or more members in that group. If only one group elects coverage for a specific plan, there is no minimum group size. There are no group size minimums for the medical plan, though groups must select either Aetna or UnitedHealthcare (no mixing and matching between providers).
Each plan is rated on a statewide basis. This allows groups and school districts of all sizes access to comprehensive benefits at competitive rates. Disability plan rates are structured slightly differently to account for demographics.
WEA Select provides real benefits to you, our members that other carriers simply cannot match. Specifically:
- A claims appeal process run by the Benefit Services Advisory Board, (BSAB) a committee of WEA educators. This unique claims appeal process is a cornerstone of the WEA Select Plan, and has improved access to care and saved money for many educators and their family members.
- One of the largest purchasing pools for insurance in the state, which allows us to significantly smooth out peaks and valleys in premiums that can result form unpredictable claims costs. No other insurance provider can offer this same level of protection for educators and school districts against the impacts of unexpectedly large claims. All locals who have participated in our pool have benefited from it.
- ARate Stabilization Fund – The RSF is a federally regulated trust that provides for a portion of our premiums to be invested for future use, typically to mitigate against rising premiums. The RSF has in the past buffered our members from large swings in insurance costs.
- Our new insurance companies have added several improvements to the plans.
- Top-rate, concierge-style customer service.
- No pre-approvals needed for massage services.
- Access to free health and wellness programs and services.
- Free "telemedicine," providing 24 hour access to talk to a doctor.
Group medical plans
WEA Select has changed our program to offer two insurance carriers, Aetna and UnitedHealthcare, effective with the new plan year, beginning Nov 1, 2017.
The purpose of expanding WEA Select was to better meet the stated needs of plan participants for better choices, lower cost and easy access to health care.
By providing two companies within WEA Select, we are creating incentives for the insurance carriers to compete on the basis of the type and quality of health insurance plans offered, as well as price. You can learn more about the providers, plans and networks by visiting www.weaselect.com.
Rates and benefits vary by plan. All plans include both preferred provider and lower-cost, high-quality options, in addition to out-of-state and worldwide coverage, 24-hour nurse line, discounts on many services, and health and wellness resources.
Groups/school districts that choose to offer the WEA Select Medical Plans and only one HMO plan option such as Kaiser Permanente can take advantage of the plan’s 10% discount rates.
'Core' dental plan – Delta Dental of Washington
The WEA Select “Core” Dental Plan offers groups the choice of three plans. These options include incentive and constant reimbursement plans with varying degrees of deductibles and coverage for crowns. All three options provide you the ability to increase your annual benefit maximum by using a PPO provider.
The plan covers more than 70,000 employees and is underwritten by Delta Dental (formerly known as Washington Dental Service). You can find more information about the benefits available through the WEA Select “Core” Dental Plan at www.deltadentalwa.com/wea.
Managed dental plans – DeltaCare and Willamette Dental
In addition to the Core Dental Plan, WEA offers three managed dental plans. Two by Willamette Dental and one by DeltaCare. Where available, groups can offer one of the Willamette Dental plans and the DeltaCare plan alongside their “Core” dental plan, giving members the choice of up to three dental plans. These plans operate similarly to a health maintenance organization (HMO). They provide rich benefits with no annual maximum. They require you to select a Primary Care Provider from their list of participating dentists. Services must be provided or referred by this provider in order to be covered. Out-of-network services are limited to emergencies.
Vision plan – VSP
The WEA Select Vision Plan offers groups a choice of five comprehensive vision care plans and include annual eye exams, and in and out-of-network benefits.
The vision plan covers more than 38,000 people and is offered by VSP.
Group long-term disability – Unum
The WEA Select Long-Term Disability (LTD) Plan protects a portion of your income should you become disabled and are unable to work for an extended period of time. This is an employee-only benefit, meaning it is not available for family members.
Each group chooses a waiting period (often referred to as the “elimination period”), which is the length of time between when you become disabled and when you start receiving benefits. All eligible members/employees in groups electing this coverage are automatically enrolled in coverage. “Base” rates for the Group Long-Term Disability Plan are determined on a statewide basis; however, the plan takes into consideration each group’s demographics (age, gender, etc.), which is reflected in the rate the group is charged.
The plan is provided by Unum.
Term life plans – Unum
The WEA Select Group Term Life Plan allows employee groups/school districts to choose a term life benefit amount ranging from $10,000 to $75,000. All eligible members/employees in groups electing this coverage are automatically covered without having to provide evidence of good health (you do not have to complete a health questionnaire). This is an employee-only benefit. Accidental Death and Dismemberment benefits are also included. The plan is underwritten by Unum.