Questions About Insurance Access & Unions? Contact Labor United
As long as labor unions and union building have been around – since the Revolutionary War – they’ve been using their collective voice to improve the quality of workers’ lives. Labor unions have fought for safer workplaces and working conditions for union workers – and won. They’ve battled for higher wages – and won. They’ve argued for shorter workdays and longer vacations – and won. The benefits of unions don’t stop there.
Labor Unions Offer Insurance at Lower Rates
One of the biggest labor union benefits is insurance – particularly health insurance. Americans who belong to a labor union have an advantage over nonunion workers when it comes to insurance. Not only do unions provide insurance for workers, but they often provide it at lower costs than for nonunion workers.
Here are just a few examples of insurance benefits that may be available to union workers:
Union Workers Receive Superior Access to Health Insurance from Labor Unions
An excellent benefit of unions is access to insurance. More than 92 percent of union workers have jobs that provide them with health insurance as opposed to 68 percent for workers that do not participate in labor unions. Some union workers have access to health care benefits for their domestic partners as well, and in many cases their employers pay more of the cost for health insurance and health care than their nonunion counterparts receive.
Labor Unions Help Workers Earn Supplemental Life & Accident Insurance Policies
The AFL-CIO, for example, offers a Union Plus program that provides supplemental life and accident policies for union workers. Auto, homeowners and renters’ insurance programs are also available, as are vision, dental, prescription drugs and various retiree health insurance plans.
Have an Illness or Injury? Use Your Labor Union Benefits to Access Disability Insurance
When a union worker becomes disabled because of an illness or injury, union workers are able to utilize labor union benefits to easily apply for government disability benefits such as Social Security. Labor unions may help them find an advocate or attorney who can coordinate disability insurance benefit packages from Social Security, union-provided programs and employer packages to maximize compensation. If a union worker becomes disabled, he or she may be able to receive:
- Monthly disability income
- Medical benefits after a waiting period (usually 24 months)
- Extended COBRA benefits from an employer
- Dependent benefits for minor children
- Prescription drug benefits after a waiting period (usually 24 months)
In tandem with regular disability benefits, members of unions that participate in Union Plus have access to related benefits that can help families while members are unable to work: mortgage assistance, disability grants and credit counseling.
Union Workers Receive Additional Protections from Workers’ Compensation
Like all employees, union members are entitled to workers’ compensation if they are injured on the job. However, union benefits help union members obtain additional rights and protections than regular “at-will” employees. Collective bargaining agreements, also known as labor contracts between the labor union and employee, establish rights regarding workers’ compensation and other benefits. In addition, some union workers may also receive benefits from work-related injuries through the union’s welfare fund.
Union Members Pay Lower Insurance Premiums
Another advantage of union membership is paying lower insurance premiums. Many with individual coverage pay no insurance premiums, and others pay much less than nonmembers. Even for family coverage, the insurance rate is less for union members.
Labor unions are good for America and all workers – not just union members. But because of collective bargaining in which unions have negotiated with employers, union members reap the most benefits, from better insurance with lower costs to higher wages to guaranteed pensions. Thanks to unions and their benefits, the playing field for workers overall becomes elevated and everybody wins.
To learn more about unions and the countless benefits they provide, contact Labor United.