|Ohio AFSCME Care Plan History|
The Ohio AFSCME Care Plan was established in 1973 with the Cuyahoga County Hospitals covering some 2,400 employees. The Care Plan was established under a joint Trust Agreement in strict accordance with the laws of the State of Ohio and Federal Government. The Care Plan is administered by a 14-member Board of Trustees composed of equal representation by the Employers and AFSCME.
The Ohio AFSCME Care Plan is also covered by the Federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) which requires certain reporting procedures to the Federal Government and to all employee participants covered by the Care Plan.
The first benefit provided was a $2,000 life insurance policy; a year later, prescription drug coverage followed; dental, vision, and hearing were soon added; and plan benefits have continued to improve.
Since 1973, the growth of the Care Plan has been phenomenal. The Care Plan has three offices located here in Ohio, with service centers in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo.
Employees covered by the Ohio AFSCME Care Plan work for county hospitals, cities, boards of education, non-profit public and private hospitals, county departments of human services, county nursing homes, county departments of youth services, county boards of mental retardation, a legal aid society, metropolitan housing authorities, county sewer districts, county coroners, community colleges, county engineers, county sheriffs, county inmate services, city zoos and state universities.
The Board of Trustees approved a major amendment for the Trust Agreement to be effective July 1, 1999. This amendment provides that benefits of the Care Plan are available to non-AFSCME bargaining units where employers are making contributions to the Care Plan on behalf of an AFSCME bargaining unit.
The life insurance plan is underwritten by Fort Dearborn Life Insurance Comany. The Ohio AFSCME Care Plan is self-funded for all other benefits, which include dental, hearing, prescription and vision care.
Since the Plan was established in 1973, there have been minor increases in the contribution rate even though health-care costs have increased tremendously during the same period of time. Participating employers are protected from rate increases for the life of their collective bargaining agreement even though the rates may be increased or benefits improved during the term of the agreement. Other insurance companies’ rates usually are increased annually even though benefits may not be improved.