Flexible Benefits program allows members to use pre-tax dollars to save on certain health care expenses

An important benefit regarding health care expenses obtained by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen during the most recent national contract will soon begin accepting members for enrollment.

In much the same way that a 401k program allows individuals to use pre-tax dollars to save for retirement, the Railroad Employees Flexible Benefits Program allows members to use pre-tax dollars to pay for certain medical expenses or dependent care expenses. The current 2008 plan allows members to save anywhere from $120 to $5,000 per year for dependent care expenses, or $120 to $3,600 per year for medical expenses. It is expected the dollar amounts will change under the upcoming 2009 plan year.

However, the program is in danger of falling by the wayside unless membership participation increases. Side Letter #8 of the National Contract specifies that at least 5 percent of eligible BLET members must participate in the plan or it will be terminated as of December 31, 2009. Current participation levels are below the 5 percent threshold, and the BLET is encouraging all members to contact United HealthCare for details when open enrollment begins.

Open enrollment for the plan will begin in the near future. Details on how to enroll will be provided on the BLET website and in the BLET newsletter once open enrollment begins.

Members will be able to choose to participate in one of two programs:

More details will be provided when open enrollment begins. BLET members are encouraged to monitor the BLET website for details regarding this money-saving plan.


© 2008 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen