UPDATE: UCLA Health Coverage Lapse

We wish to update you on our ongoing fight to restore health coverage as guaranteed under Articles 11, 13, and 14 of our contract. We have identified nine departments where TAs, tutors, and readers have been affected.

First the good news: the Ashe Center has agreed to apprise students of their previously-unpublicized policy, whereby student health centers (Ashe, CAPS, and BHS) will treat all students regardless of fee status. This arrangement includes doctors’ appointments, prescription pick-ups, and so on.

This, however, is not an adequate fix. By not restoring Anthem coverage immediately, UCLA remains in violation of Articles 13 and 14 of our contract. Further, UCLA administration continues to insist that they are not liable for out-of-pocket costs incurred by student workers whose coverage has lapsed. The Administration’s position is both illegal and morally reprehensible. Articles 13 and 14 of our contract require UCLA administration to provide student workers with health insurance, and we believe that the University is liable for all damages caused by its failure to honor these provisions of our contract. To be in compliance, the University must provide emergency funding and/or reimbursements for all medical coverage lost. We will work with any student workers who have incurred out of pocket health care expenses during the period that Anthem had lapsed to obtain reimbursements for these costs including, if necessary, seeking monetary awards in arbitration.

To check the status of your Anthem UCSHIP coverage, call Anthem at (866) 940-8306. Select the option for member services and ask for “Customer Care Assistance.” If you do need help with insurance due to an emergency contact Barbara Rabinowitz at the UCLA  Insurance Office at brabinowitz@ashe.ucla.edu or via phone at 310-825-4073.

Our UCLA insurance, according to the UCLA Insurance Office, is retroactive to the beginning of the quarter. However, it is the position of UCLA administration that if your Anthem coverage has lapsed or has not been activated you would be responsible for any immediate out-of-pocket costs related to services you obtain outside of the Ashe Student Health Center, CAPS, or BHS on campus. These out-of-pocket costs apply to emergency, non-emergency, and prescription drug care obtained outside of the Student Health centers on campus listed above.

Union Head Steward Zeke Trautenberg, whose Anthem coverage also lapsed, has been in discussions with John Bollard, head of the UCLA Insurance Office, to let him know that not all affected students have received communication about this issue from Graduate Division.Please know that Barbara and John are committed to ensuring that you have access to health services, and that we in UAW 2865 are doing our best to make sure that students’ health care coverage and benefits are restored as soon as possible.

Zeke has also contacted Congresswoman Karen Bass, the representative for West Los Angeles, about this issue. Her office is following up with UCLA administration. If you would like to inform Congresswoman Bass about your concerns or how you have been affected, you can contact her aide Claudia Aragon at Claudia.Aragon@mail.house.gov.

If your fees were paid and processed after September 20 or if you still have an outstanding fee waiver balance and/or “balance of fees” balance, check with UCLA’s SHIP Insurance office before seeking non-emergency medical services to make sure that you have Anthem coverage.If you have any trouble with the Ashe Center, you may also contact Barbara Rabinowitz (contact info above).