Open Enrollment For Healthcare Benefits Runs Through Oct. 30

Open enrollment for healthcare benefits for Local 223 members runs through October 30.

Here are few things to consider as you choose your benefits for the coming year. Staying on top of your health will help to make sure you are there for your family and can save you a lot of money.

Healthy Living Requirements (HLR) – these requirements have been cancelled for 2020, which means no physicals are required in 2020 and no surcharge for anyone in 2021.

Although the requirements have been waived due to COVID-19, we encourage all employees and spouses to schedule your medical physicals and to complete the assessment so you stay on top of your health.

Be careful which plan you select:

  • A brief summary of the plans are in the 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement but a complete Summary Plan Description is available online through YBR or request it by calling 866.899.4383 (this is a dedicated number for DTE employees).
  • Make sure your primary care physician is part of the network if you are changing plans or you are making a first time plan selection.
  • Be aware of the out of pocket costs because they are different if you choose an HMO over a PPO.
  • Look to see whether the plan you are selecting is widely accepted in the region which you live.
  • If you are unsure, seek help. Your Benefits Resources (YBR) can answer a lot of questions and help with your enrollment.
  • Select a plan according to your family size. If your family size has changed, such as a child reaching age 26, be careful that you do not select a plan for too many individuals or too few.
  • Even though you do not think you will get sick and wish to opt out for a few extra dollars, this could cost you thousands. There have been cases where employees did opt out and it resulted in thousands of dollars being owed to health care providers.

Carefully plan for amounts to add to dependent care and flexible spending accounts:

  • Be sure to consider the amounts you choose to put into dependent care and flexible spending accounts.
  • During the pandemic we cannot predict your personal need(s) for either type of account so take time to carefully consider your need(s) because any unused funds may be forfeited.

Local 223 is here to help you. If you are unsure, we can help to direct you to the proper person to get answers. We are not health care professionals but we know how to get help for our members. If you do need to change your elections after Open Enrollment closes, please contact the Local for help.

It’s time to choose your 2021 healthcare coverage

  • Consider your needs
  • Review your options at ybr.com/dteenergy
  • Change or confirm your DTE Energy benefits for 2021 by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Oct. 30, 2020.

Your needs change from year to year. That’s why it is important to take action to ensure you have the right coverage!

Register to vote before Election Day

2020 has been an unpredictable year, so don’t waste any time making sure you’re registered—and registering to vote if you aren’t.

You can also register to vote at least 15 days before Election Day online by following the link below:

REGISTER TO VOTE ONLINE

Michigan residents are eligible to register to vote if they are:

  • A Michigan resident (at the time you register) and a resident of your city or township for at least 30 days (when you vote)
  • A United States citizen
  • At least 18 years of age (when you vote)
  • Not currently serving a sentence in jail or prison

Missed the deadline to register online? Michigan residents can register to vote through Election Day, November 3rd by visiting a clerk’s office. Learn more about registering and casting your ballot by visiting the Michigan Department of State step-by-step guide online by clicking here.

Not sure if you’re registered to vote? Find out by visiting the Michigan Department of State’s website here.

Need to contact your clerk? Find your clerk by filling out the Michigan Department of State’s voter information form here.

The Only Thing Scary About Halloween Should be the Costumes

COVID-19 Halloween recommendations 

“The way we celebrate Halloween in Michigan will be different this year due to COVID-19,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “However, there are still many ways to celebrate safely. The guidance MDHHS issued today provides tips for trick-or-treaters and their parents along with homeowners who wish to hand out treats.”

Tips for all groups include staying home if you are sick; maintaining social distancing of at least six feet; wearing a cloth mask that covers both the mouth and nose; and washing hands often or frequently using hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recently issued recommendations and considers trick-or-treating a high-risk activity. The CDC offers alternative activities to consider as well as safety tips if parents and children choose to trick-or-treat.

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Local 223 shows resilience in 2020

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

The year 2020 has brought on challenges that no one could have predicted, yet I am grateful to be at the helm of this great union, Local 223 UWUA. I am proud of the solidarity of all of our members as we battle the coronavirus pandemic. The sacrifices that we all make every day to ensure that the community we serve has lights and gas, is HEROIC. We are the backbone of industry. Without us everything comes to a stop. I’ve seen all of our members rise to the occasion, doing whatever it takes to get the job done. We have shown our resilience, reliability and flexibility to make sure we are here to serve the public that counts on us. Our plans constantly evolve to deal with this threat and because of the nature of this virus, each day brings new challenges.

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Helping others who are impacted by COVID-19

The global health crisis of COVID-19 has created an unprecedented amount of need for many of our neighbors, family members and friends across our city, region and state. Some people are not able to work, or have had a loved one pass away from this disease and are finding it difficult to make ends meet. Local 223 UWUA always rises to the occasion to help others since part of our mission is to create a more just and secure workplace and society.  

Local 223 UWUA encourages members to consider finding a way to give back during these difficult times to those who need it most. Below are some organizations around the region who are doing their part to help the most vulnerable in our society. Please consider volunteering to help or making a donation.

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