Dear United Supermarkets Team Member:
Each year, one of the most important things we do is review the benefit package we offer our Team Members. As a company, we strive to make sure our benefits are attractive and competitive. We believe our benefits line up well not just in the retail grocery industry but overall. We invest a lot of time and effort in our benefits package because it’s as important to our company as it is to our Team Members.
It is no secret companies are trimming back or completely doing away with benefits. Compounding this today is a federally mandated overhaul of health care that is expected to transform that industry in ways no one is sure about. While the economy is stronger than it was several years ago, it remains fragile. In other words, there is a lot of uncertainty in the air. For example, as I write this note, the federal government is shut down for the third consecutive day.
However, one thing you should be certain about is this: United Supermarkets believes in taking care of people who day in and day out work hard to do their job and provide for their family. We understand how important it is to have a stable package of benefits that you can count on. That’s why we will continue to offer a comprehensive menu of benefits designed to help Team Members breathe easier and reach their goals – even in uncertain times. Our Annual Enrollment period begins, and Team Members have the opportunity to pick and choose the benefits they wish to take advantage of. I urge you to carefully review everything, ask questions of our knowledgeable Team Member Benefits team and make informed choices.
I mentioned the health care overhaul that is just beginning to roll out. No one is sure about the impact these sweeping changes will have on large employers such as United or on the country in general. For the coming year, we know this: the portion of the health care premium paid by our Team Members will increase by an average of 3 percent. The portion United pays on your behalf, typically somewhere between 68 and 70 percent of the premium cost, also is increasing. As I said, each year we have an internal team that takes a close look at all of the benefits we offer. This year, I want to call several enhancements of our benefit package to your attention. They are:
• Benefits Value Advisor (BVA) will be added to your medical plan. BVA has a toll-free number available to help you get a cost estimate for health care services or procedures to help you save on out-of-pocket expenses.
• Your prescription benefit plan will be administered by Prime Therapeutics, a division of BlueCross BlueShield of Texas, instead of Express Scripts.
In closing, I want to thank you for all you do for our company. The strength of our company is in our people, and I am pleased and proud that we can offer a comprehensive slate of benefits for you to choose from, to provide comfort and security for you and your loved ones.
Robert Taylor, CEO
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