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Following is information for furloughed employees concerning their health benefits:




Employee UPREHS Health Insurance will continue for 3 months after the last month in which the employee provided the required service to qualify for Insurance. 


After the 3 months, the employee can continue UPREHS Insurance at $100 a month for 6 months.


After those 6 months, the employee can continue UPREHS Insurance at $175 a month for another 6 months.


After the (total of) 15 months, employees can continue UPREHS Insurance at $467.76 a month, until the amount of time furloughed matches the amount of time the employee paid dues into the UPREHS system. (For example, if the employee paid dues to UPREHS 65 months in a row, then he/she is entitled to keep UPREHS, when not working, for 65 months.)


As soon as the employee no longer pays dues into UPREHS, they will contact the employee to find out why and to make arrangements for continuing insurance. 


If UPREHS does not do so, the employee should contact them using the phone number on the back of  their card.




Dependent Health Insurance will continue for 4 months after the last month in which the employee provided the required service to the Railroad. After the 4 months, employees can continue their dependent's insurance under COBRA.


Rates, as of March 1, 2009 are: For Spouse - $558.28 per Month for 14 Months For All Children $358.18 per Month for 14 Months


Employees can choose to insure only the spouse, all children, or both.  The cost for both, per month, is $916.46 (If you work in a craft that insures the Employee in UHC/BCBS or Aetna and not UPREHS, then the charge for the EMPLOYEE would be another $558.28 per month for that 14-month period).





Dental and Vision would have to be extended, through COBRA, after the 4th month after a month in which the employee qualified for insurance. Dental for the employee and spouse is $29.18 each per month.  All children can be added for $49.37. Vision for the employee and spouse is $5.04 each per month.   All children can be added for $1.11.




Example:  A single employee who has been furloughed for 10 months wishes to continue with the insurance he/she had when working.  The cost would be $175 a month for UPRHES plus $29.18 for Dental and $5.04 for Vision, for a total of $209.22.  Dental and Vision coverage would have to be purchased through United Health Care. Add a Spouse for $558.29, $29.18 and $5.04 for $592.51. Add 4 kids for $358.18, $49.37 and $1.11 for $408.56. Total Insurance for a Family of 4, would be $1310.29, using this scenario.


Railroad Unemployment Benefits

According to Railroad Retirement, a furloughed or AWTS employee needs to report ALL of their earnings, not just their Railroad Earnings.  Making over $1230 in a two week period nullifies Railroad Unemployment. 


Getting signed up EARLY for unemployment benefits is very important and signing up on-line is preferred.  Go to to request a PRC number and speed your unemployment request.




Special thanks goes to Larry Romine, S&T of Local 473 in LaGrande, Oregon, for providing the above information. 




Rich Draskovich

General Chairman

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