BLET NEWS FLASH
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, December 27 — Members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen will keep their Health Flexible Spending Accounts (Health FSA) through 2017 thanks to an increased level of participation in this money-saving plan.
A negotiated benefit obtained in the 2012 National Agreement, the Health FSA allows members to use pretax dollars to pay for certain medical expenses that are not covered under any health plan (including a railroad health & welfare plan) or any other source. The plan could allow members to save hundreds of dollars per year in taxes.
The 2012 National Agreement stipulates that at least 7.5% of eligible engineers must participate in the Health FSA in each Plan Year (after 2014) or the Carriers would have the right to terminate it. Following the conclusion of the Open Enrollment for the 2017 plan year, 10.28% of eligible BLET members had enrolled in the program, which is up from the 8.65% participation level achieved during the 2016 Plan Year.
Except as noted at the end of this paragraph, members eligible for the plan include locomotive engineers and Tex-Mex train service employees covered by the Health & Welfare portion of the 2012 National Agreement. Also, BLET members subject to the September 16, 2011 UTU National Agreement are currently eligible to participate in the Health FSA program provided for in that Agreement. The national Health FSA is distinct and separate from the on-property BNSF Health FSA plan. The participation rates identified in this News Flash do not apply to BNSF engineers.
BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce thanked all BLET members who are participating in the plan and encouraged more members to sign up for future Plan Years.
“The Health FSA program has proven to be a money saver for BLET families,” President Pierce said. “I am encouraged by our membership’s steady participation level and I am optimistic that it will continue to increase as the word spreads about the Plan’s benefits and more members become familiar with the positive aspects of the plan.”
Any members with questions regarding the FSA should call United Healthcare at (888) 298-9754 or visit Your Track to Health.