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10.13.15 – (LAA/LUS) – 2016 Benefits Enrollment Now Open

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

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2016 Benefits Enrollment Now OpenLAA/LUS

Annual Benefits Enrollment is going on NOW and ends on October 23. Go to and click on ENROLL NOW to get started. 

2016 Benefits Enrollment Complete Guide

Call the Benefits Service Center at 888-860-6178 with any questions. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 7am–7pm (CT). Also, please feel free to contact the Health Department or visit one of the counselors in operations for more information.

2016 Dental Options Enrollment Clarification

There has been some confusion around the dental plan options for 2016. To clarify, all Flight Attendants are eligible to select one of three options noted below. Since there are varying tier levels Option 1 & 2 will be in a different line than the Standard Option. If you are currently enrolled in Option 1 or 2 and wish to enroll in Standard Dental you must go in and select “no coverage” for the option you are currently enrolled and then enroll in Standard Dental. 

Voluntary Insurance Program Offered by APFA

APFA members will have an additional opportunity to enroll in a new voluntary insurance program. The products being offered to APFA members by Union Benefit Planners (UBP) for 2016 are:

  • Short-Term Disability Insurance
  • Universal Life Insurance with Long-Term Care
  • Critical Illness Insurance
  • Accident Insurance


These voluntary coverage options are not associated with American Airlines or AA Added Benefits. This year, there will be no medical questions required to enroll in the Short-Term Disability Insurance, Critical Illness Insurance or Accident Insurance. These are individual policies that are portable, therefore, they are not linked to AA automatic payroll deduction. Even if your employment with American Airlines ends, these policies will continue as long as you continue to pay the premiums.

Click on the following link to enroll:

Your Username is your AA Badge Number (padded with zeros in the front to make 9 digits). 
Example: If your badge number is 123456, then your username is 000123456.

Your Password is the last 4 digits of your Badge Number.
Example: 3456

New Users will see the message below.  Click OK to accept.

Members who are interested in the voluntary options from UBP can also call 855-874-0236 to enroll. 

Enrollment Counselors from Union Benefits Planners will be at most crew bases between October 12-23 to assist APFA members with AA Benefits and offer UBP voluntary coverage options. The open enrollment period for these voluntary benefits offered by APFA ends on Friday, October 30.  

Benefits Questions and Answers

Q: I am an LUS Flight Attendant and currently have Long-Term Disability Coverage. Do I need to enroll this year in order to keep this coverage for next year?
A: Yes. In order to continue to have Long-Term Disability Coverage for 2016, you must enroll in the American Airlines LTD Plan.

Q: Where do I find information about my HMOs?
A: Based on where you live, you may be eligible to enroll in one of the following HMO options:

  • CommunityCare of Oklahoma    
  • Health Plan Hawaii (HMSA)    
  • Humana of Puerto Rico
  • Kaiser Mid-Atlantic    
  • Kaiser – N. & S. Cal.    
  • Triple-S Puerto Rico    
  • Kaiser SFO (US only)


For complete details on the HMO medical options and programs, contact the appropriate HMO:

Q: What is the difference between a Copayment and Coinsurance?
A: A copayment is a set dollar amount paid for a Primary Care Physician in both the Value and Standard Plans. It never counts toward your deductible and out of pocket maximum. You can meet your deductible and out of pocket maximum and you still pay your copayment.
Coinsurance is an amount (20% currently) that counts toward your out-of-pocket maximum. Before it is applied to your out of pocket maximum, you first must meet your deductible.

Q: What do LAA Flight Attendants have to do during open enrollment?
A: If you are a LAA Flight Attendant you do not have to do anything if you want the same benefit plan to continue for 2016. If you are on the Core Plan, you must make a new contribution election amount into your Health Savings Account for the year.

Q: What do LUS Flight Attendants have to do during open enrollment?
A. If you are an LUS Flight Attendant you must go in and pick a health insurance plan. 2015 benefit elections for Legacy US Airways Flight Attendants DO NOT carry over. If you do not enroll and you currently have coverage, you will be enrolled automatically in the following:

  • Core Plan option medical coverage for you and your covered dependents
  • Dental coverage option #2 for you and your covered dependents
  • Your 2015 voluntary benefits


You must enroll if you want Vision coverage. If you waived coverage for 2015 and you do not enroll, you will have no coverage for 2016.

Q: Can the open enrollment period be extended for more than 12 days?
A: Both Cathy Sharp and Paul Frishkorn met with the Benefits Department of the Company numerous times and ask for a longer open enrollment. The Company’s response each time was the 12 days was enough. In cases where there were three or four weeks of open enrollment the majority of people waited until the last 2-3 days of open enrollment to enroll.

Q: Where can I view the prices for the APFA Voluntary Insurance options?

Q: Where can I get help with my Benefit Choices?
A: Aside from the Benefits Center, there will be Union Benefits Counselors in each base. LUS Flight Attendants will have an APFA Representative in their base as well. You can also call the Benefits Department at APFA in Dallas at (817) 540-0108 ext. 8290. Catherine Sharp, APFA National Health Coordinator and Paul Frishkorn, APFA Regional Representative for Benefits will be available to assist the Benefits Representatives at the bases and office in Dallas for questions they cannot answer. 

In PHL: Gabe Bierbach will be in the crew room.
In CLT: Gabby Harty will be in the crew room
In DCA: Heather Morgan will be in the crew room
In PHX: Johnnea Bigcraft will be in the crew room
Q: What do I do about my Flexible Spending Account?
A: If you have a Flexible Spending Account you must go in and designate the amount of money you would like to put in for the 2016 year. If you are on the Core Plan you can only use your Flexible Spending Account for Dental and Vision expenses.  

Remember beginning in 2016 for 2017, you can roll over up to $500 from your Flexible Spending account into the following year.

Q: I am retired. When do I enroll in Retiree Medical?
A: Retiree enrollment will be October 12th -23rd, 2015:

Summary of Benefits and Coverage

Core Option
Standard Option
Value Option


Choosing the Right Health Insurance Plan 

When choosing an insurance plan, remember that the most expensive plan isn’t always the best plan for your specific needs. Carefully compare the three plan options. This hotline will provide you with plan details, comparisons and premiums.

The Core Plan allows you to set aside pre-tax dollars in a Health Savings Account (HSA). The HSA dollars rollover year to year. If you leave the Company or retire, you can take your HSA with you. The Core Plan is for an employee and their family if you normally only have an annual physical, don’t see a lot of specialists, have few maintenance prescription medications, etc.

Many employees choose between the Standard and Value Plan. When choosing between the two plans, take a look at the number of specialists you visit and your use of non-preferred medications.

If you visit a specialist and are looking at the Standard Plan, review your explanation of benefits from BlueCross BlueShield or UnitedHealthcare and see what the insurance company reimbursed the physician. The amount the insurance company reimbursed the physician is the amount you pay first towards the deductible on the Standard Plan. After you reach the deductible for an individual on your plan, you then pay 20% of the insurance company payment until your out-of-pocket maximum is reached. ($2000 Individual/$5000 Family-In-Network)

The amount you pay for your prescriptions reduces your out-of-pocket expenses on both the Standard and Value Plans. Contact Express Scripts at 800-282-2881 and request the cost of your medication to assist you in choosing your insurance plan for 2016.

2016 Pricing Differences

The You Only Value Plan is $796.32 more per year than the You Only Standard Plan. Remember, the deductible for the You Only Standard Plan is $800.00 per year

For You + Spouse or Same-Sex Domestic Partner the Value Plan is $2,070.36 more per year than the Standard Plan. The total deducible cost for the Standard Plan is $1600 per year, $800 per person.

For You + Children the Value Plan is $1433.28 more per year than the Standard Plan. For You + Children the total deductible is $1,600, $800 per person. If there are 2 or more children the deductible becomes $2400, no more than $800 per person.
For You + Family the Value Plan cost $2787 more per year than the Standard Plan. The total deductible for the You + Family Standard Plan is $2400, no more than $800 per person.

An employee may want to think about saving the premium difference between the Value and Standard Plans and choose the Standard Plan to save premium costs, especially if they do not use specialists often or have non-preferred medication prescriptions.

Please note: For the Standard and Value Plans, you can use your Flexible Spending account to pay for your deductible charges as well as prescription drugs and co-payment for the primary care physician, vision and dental program costs.  For the Core Plan, you can only use your Flexible Spending Account for Vision and Dental.

Paul Frishkorn
APFA Regional Representative for Benefits

If You Don’t Enroll

Legacy US Airways Flight Attendants

2015 benefit elections for Legacy US Airways Flight Attendants DO NOT carry over. If you do not enroll and you currently have coverage, you will be enrolled automatically in the following:

  • Core option medical coverage for you and your covered dependents
  • Dental coverage for you and your covered dependents
  • Your 2015 voluntary benefits


You must enroll if you want Vision coverage. If you waived coverage for 2015 and you do not enroll, you will have no coverage for 2016.

Legacy American Airlines Flight Attendants

2015 benefit elections for Legacy American Airlines Flight Attendants will carry over, including voluntary benefits, with the following exceptions:

  • Health Savings Account (HSA) — You must make a new HSA contribution election each year; however, you may enroll or change your election anytime during the year.
  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA) — You must re-enroll in the Health Care and Dependent Care FSAs each year to continue participating


On a Leave of Absence?

LAA – If you’re currently enrolled in medical, dental or vision coverage, you may make changes to your medical, dental or vision coverage during Annual Enrollment as long as you are current on your direct bill payments.

LUS – All Legacy US Airways Flight Attendants on leave of absence will be able to participate in Annual Enrollment.

2016 Deductibles & Out-of-Pocket Maximums


EyeMed — a new provider — will offer enhanced vision coverage for 2016. 


MetLife is the administrator for our dental plan. Flight Attendants have three options to chose from for dental coverage.

Voluntary Benefits

To add or make changes to your Voluntary Benefits go to or call 855-550-0706.

  • Hyatt Legal Plan
  • Group Auto & Home Insurance
  • LifeLock Identity Theft Protection
  • Critical Illness Insurance
  • Accident Insurance
  • Pet Insurance


Hyatt Legal Plans is a legal services plan that provides legal representation for you, your spouse and dependents. The plan covers services such as preparing a will, buying or selling a home and identity theft defense. American Airlines employees can take advantage of the special group discounted rates – the plan costs just $18.98 per month. When you use a Plan Attorney for covered services, there are – no deductibles, no co-payments, no claim forms and no limits on usage.

The Group Auto & Home Program provides:

  • Competitive Rates from three national insurance carriers: Liberty Mutual, MetLife Auto & Home and Travelers.
  • Convenient payroll deduction that spreads your payments over the policy term into more manageable installments, with no interest charges or service fees.
  • Money-saving discounts that could help you reduce your premiums even more.
  • Comparative Rater Tool – an easier, quicker way to compare auto quotes.


The experts at LifeLock protect you from identity theft before the damage is done. Monitoring services 24 hours a day, seven days a week help safeguard your information both online and off. You pay premiums by credit card. You can receive up to a 40% discount by using promotion code AAEMP1.

Critical Illness Insurance complements your current medical and disability income coverage. It pays a lump-sum benefit payment that you can use as you see fit if you experience a Covered Condition and meet the group policy and certificate requirements. For example, it can be used to help pay for things like medical co-pays and deductibles, as well as day-to-day living expenses like childcare bills and even mortgage payments. Enrollment is guaranteed for you and your eligible family members, provided you are actively at work.

Your premium is based on your Issue Age, meaning your initial rate is based on your age at the time your coverage becomes effective and your rates will not increase due to age. You can use the lump-sum payment to cover cost of co-pays, deductibles, mortgage payments and child care as you see fit to help protect your family’s finances.

Employees have the choice of $10,000 or $20,000 Guaranteed Issue coverage. For dependents you elect to enroll, your spouse/domestic partner and children will be covered at 50% of the employee benefit amount.

Some medical plans require you to pay for out-of-network care and treatments, deductibles, co-payments, and more. MetLife’s Accident Insurance provides a lump sum payment for over 150 different covered events, such as:

  • Fractures and dislocations
  • Second and third degree burns
  • Concussions
  • Eye injuries
  • Cuts/Lacerations


If your pet gets sick or injured, taking proper care of them can be expensive. VPI Pet Insurance makes it a little easier to be prepared for them. From routine office visits to significant medical incidents, VPI provides protection for pets when they need it most.

VPI coverage is available for dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, reptiles, and even exotic pets, and it covers medical problems and conditions related to accidents and illness.

Short-Term Disability/Long-Term Disability

American Airlines offers Short-Term Disability and/or Long-Term Disability options to all Flight Attendants during open enrollment. New for 2016, LUS Flight Attendants will be eligible to enroll in the AA Short-Term Disability plan. LUS Flight Attendants will be eligible to enroll in the Short-Term Disability without a state of health requirement due to new participation in 2016. If you are an LAA Flight Attendant, and have not enrolled in either of the disability plans, it is strongly recommend that you consider the benefits of having disability coverage.

Doctor on Demand

In 2016, American Airlines has partnered with Doctor On Demand to offer 24/7 access to board-certified medical doctors — using your camera-enabled computer, smartphone or tablet. The Doctors can diagnose, treat, and write prescriptions for most non-emergency medical conditions. The cost of a visit is $30 for employees enrolled in the Standard and Value options. Employees enrolled in the Core option will pay $40 per visit until the deductible is met, then 20% coinsurance applies. Doctor on Demand cannot complete FMLA paperwork.

Tax Savings Accounts

Don’t forget to take advantage of Health Savings Account and the Flexible Spending Account to use for your medical, dental and vision expenses. You can also enroll in a Dependent Day Care Account. 

  • Health Savings Account – By enrolling in the Core option, you can contribute on a pre-tax basis to your HSA through payroll deduction. For 2016, the limits are $3,350 individual and $6,750 family. Employees who are at least 55 years old by the end of 2016 can add up to $1,000 more.
  • Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) -Transit Program – You can buy monthly commuter passes on a pre-tax basis for bus and rail travel to and from work, lowering your taxable income, and helping the environment.
    • Health Care FSA and Limited Purpose FSA — You can contribute up to $2,550 in 2016 on a pre-tax basis. If you enroll in the Core option, instead of a Health Care FSA, you may contribute to a Limited Purpose FSA, which means you can only use it for dental and vision expenses.
    • Dependent Care FSA — You can contribute up to $2,500 per year ($5,000 if you are married and filing jointly) to pay for eligible child and elder care with pre-tax money.
    • New for 2016 for 2017 – Up to $500 in unused funds in 2016 and beyond can rollover into the following plan year and so on.  
  • Transit Program – You can buy monthly commuter passes on a pre-tax basis for bus and rail travel to and from work, lowering your taxable income, and helping the environment.


Benefit Roadshow Schedule

These roadshows allow you the opportunity to get more information about our benefit programs, visit with benefit administrators and participate in raffles and giveaways.

Free flu shots are being offered to all mainline employees during the roadshows. Create an account and use Invitation Code AA2015 to reserve your spot. If you don’t schedule an appointment, walk-ins will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Schedule your free flu shot today by clicking here.

Cathy Sharp
APFA National Health Chair

Brian Clark
APFA National Communications Interim Chair

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