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With the new Affordable Healthcare Act that went into effect January 1, 2014, you would think that because of the multitude of customers enrolling in healthcare plans, health insurance providers would lower the price of insurance because they are making more at the same or lower premium than they would if they raise the premiums and lose clients.

I currently work for Southern Refrigerated Transport which is located in Texarkana, Arkansas. Since I started working with SRT back on December 30, 2011, our Medical Insurance Provider has raised premiums once about a year after I started. Now, the company just released a message to all drivers about the premiums are being raised again.

Open enrollment for the 2015/2016 Insurance year is here. Effective Monday 8/10/2015 thru 8/28/2015 you will follow the same enrollment process as last year with two options of calling the enrollment center at ------------ or meet with one of our enrollment specialists located in the small orientation room here at SRT. We encourage everyone to make time to learn about new products that are available as offered and to update your beneficiary information. Open enrollment will come to a close on August 28, 2015.

Our medical insurance is increasing this year and for the first time, SRT will be offering two different options for medical coverage in an effort to help offset the premium insurance. You will have the option to elect our new Health Savings Account (HSA) or renew the traditional health plan. A Health Savings Account is a medical savings account offered to those enrolled in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). A HDHP is a health insurance plan with lower premiums and higher deductibles. Unlike a flexible spending account, funds roll over and accumulate year to year if not spent. HSAs encourage saving for future health care expenses.

With a HDHP/HSA, members must meet there insurance deductible before insurance begins to pay. The deductible for employee - only healthcare with the HDHP is $2000, and family healthcare deductible is $4000. Once your deductible is met with the HDHP/HSA plan there are no additional expenses and remaining claims are paid for by the insurance at 100%. If you elect HSA you will not be eligible for the flexible spending account, you will only be able to elect the HSA if you elect the HDHP.

Following are our new premiums and plan options for the 2015-2016 enrollment:
HSA medical, dental and life package
Single coverage: $47.63 weekly
Family coverage: $191.86 weekly

HSA medical and life
Single coverage $45.47 weekly
Family coverage $181.57 weekly

Option be renew current plan you have in place now
Traditional medical, dental and life
Single coverage $60.65 weekly
Family coverage $224.29 weekly

Traditional medical and life
Single coverage $58.49 weekly
Family coverage $214.00 weekly

Dental only
Single coverage $2.16 weekly
Family coverage $10.29 weekly

Vision only
Single coverage $2.20 weekly
Employee and spouse $3.58 weekly
Employee and children $4.01 weekly
Family $5.33 weekly

Remember open enrollment starts Monday August 10th and runs through August 28th, 2015. Review options and call in or visit our representatives when on the yard in Texarkana.

Thanks, SRT Management

It seems SRT is complacent with the increase in premiums instead of offering more affordable healthcare plans to it's employees other than Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield. It may be the first increase for those employed by the company after the last premium hike back in late 2012 but for the rest of us, it's undesirable!

The premium increase is not affordable when other companies are offering the same insurance to their drivers for less. The Affordable Care Act isn't making healthcare affordable in my opinion. It's making it a burden to have to carry. As of right now, Single insurance is $49.71 and Dental is $2.16 per week. I am seriously thinking about dropping my Blue Cross Blue Shield through SRT and getting insurance through another company where plans starts at $46.00 a month instead of a week. Aetna/eHealth Insurance Inc. offers such plans for "short term" until open enrollment. I'm seriously contemplating the switch!