Mail handlers insurance is a type of coverage offered to federal and state postal employees. The plan has been in existence since 1963. The National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) sponsors the insurance plan, which helps to keep rates affordable for plan members.
Mail Handlers Insurance Plans
This special insurance for mail handlers is available in three different versions:
- Value Plan
- Standard Option
- Consumer Option
Medical care is provided through a Preferred Provider Network (PPO). Subscribers to a PPO have more flexibility than those who are enrolled in an HMO plan. If you choose to see a doctor or get treatment from a hospital that is part of the PPO's network of providers, the insurance company will provide a higher level of benefits. You don't need to designate one doctor as your primary care physician, and no referrals are needed if you want to see a specialist.
The Value Plan
The Value Plan gives subscribers a plan that pays 100 percent of covered benefits, with no deductible. Examples of covered services include:
- Annual check-up with preventive screenings
- Checkups for children
- Generic prescription medications (copay required)
- Hospital care
- Maternity care
- Outpatient surgery (facility copay required)
- Visits to a primary care physician (copay required)
The Standard Option is the plan most subscribers to this type of insurance choose for their health care needs. This option pays 100 percent of the costs of covered services, including:
- Checkups for healthy children
- One checkup per year for people over the age of 18 (office visit copayment required)
- Maternity care (includes prenatal and postnatal care, hospital room and board, and anesthesia)
- Wellness screenings, such as mammograms and cholesterol tests
Out of Pocket Costs with Standard Option
For subscribers to the Standard Option package, the following copays apply as of 2009:
- $20 for adult visits to a doctor
- $10 for dependent children under the age of 22
- $10 for generic medications purchased from in-network pharmacies; brand name prescription drugs are subject to a competitive copay
- $15 for visits to a chiropractor (up to a $2,500 maximum)
The Consumer Option is a high-deductible health insurance plan that the plan member would use with a Health Savings Account (HSA). Funds are deposited into the HSA and grow on a tax-free basis. Under the mail handlers insurance plan, the individual and the plan make monthly deposits to the HSA. The money in the HSA is used to pay for health care services until the amount of the deductible has been reached. A debit card is provided for this purpose. Any funds in the HSA that are not used each year are simply rolled over to the following year.
Once the amount of the deductible is met, the only additional expenses that you would be required to pay are the copays for each service. Certain preventive services, such as annual check-ups, are covered at 100 percent when you see a physician within the Plan's network of providers.
Other Coverage Available
- Under the mail handlers insurance plan, subscribers are covered for generic drugs (for up to a 30 days' supply) at network pharmacies nationwide.
- Dental coverage for preventive care, as well as bridges, crowns, and orthodontics.
- Vision coverage is another benefit offered under this Plan. The Plan pays benefits for eye exams, glasses and contact lenses with only a small copayment. Plan subscribers who want to undergo laser vision correction can do so at a reduced rate.