The PAT has achieved a significant improvement in member health benefits. On September 28, 2017, PAT signed an agreement that ensured that our insurance plans were fully compliant with all elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
That change has added a series of new components to PAT member benefits like preventive care, hearing aid coverage, positive changes in the out of pocket maximum calculations, and improvements in alternative care coverage.
Most importantly, those improvements were achieved with no increased cost to PAT members, while keeping the maintenance of benefit clause in the contract. Like all improvements in contract terms, the health insurance benefit improvements were only accomplished because of the collective action of the PAT membership.
These improvements have been a long time coming. When the ACA first became law in March of 2010, the Federal government began crafting rules that would define the “essential benefits” in every health insurance plan. Group plans like ours, created prior to the ACA, were “grandfathered” so long as they did not reduce—or improve—benefit levels. This means some of the “essential benefit” requirements of the ACA did not apply to our plan. As our contract bargaining has progressed, PAT has convinced the District to surrender our “grandfathered” status and move the PAT Heath Benefit Trust into full ACA compliance. Thanks to your collective efforts, all PAT members will now enjoy better benefits with no increase in costs.