Happy Birthday, EAP

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(This article appeared in the January/February 2009 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

Sue Carney, Director Human Relations Dept.

On Nov.12, the USPS Employees Assistance Program turned 40 years old. The first postal EAP program — then known as the Program for Alcoholic Recovery (PAR) — opened its doors in San Francisco. From those humble beginnings, the postal EAP has grown into a state-of-the art award winning program. The EAP is now a free, voluntary, and confidential program that offers assessment, referral, short-term counseling, and work/life consultation to postal employees and their families.

The Postal Service EAP was honored with the 2008 Ross Von Weigand Award by the Employees Assistance Professionals Associations (EAPA). Each year the group selects a recipient whose program exemplifies exceptional cooperation between labor and management.

This prestigious award represents the best efforts of the APWU, the NALC, the USPS and our EAP advisory committee members, who serve as ambassadors for the program to provide a comprehensive work-life resource for employees and family members. The program is accessed by nearly 100,000 individuals each year.

Supplemental Insurance

To help union members protect their future against catastrophic illnesses, in recent years the APWU has made Cancer Personal Indemnity and other Specified Health Event insurance coverage available through American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus (Aflac).

APWU is pleased to announce these benefits are even more accessible than ever. Members are now able to review plan benefits, rates, and apply online by visiting www.apwu.org and following these links: Pay & Benefits > Members-Only Benefits > Supplemental Insurance.

These comprehensive, affordable benefits are offered exclusively to APWU members and their qualifying family members, and are designed to provide a financial safety net in the event of a serious illness. They are available for as little as $1.27 per week.

Both plans pay cash benefits directly to policy holders, regardless of any other insurance they may have, and offer multiple levels of coverage, with premiums tailored to individuals, one-parent families, and two-parent families. The waiting period for coverage to begin has been waived. As long as your policy remains in effect, your premium will not increase with age and coverage will not be terminated after age 70.

Consider This

The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately one in two men and one in three women will be diagnosed with cancer during their lives. The Centers for Disease Control reports that chronic diseases — such as heart ailments, cancer, and diabetes – are the leading causes of disability and death.

Families affected by a diagnosis of cancer or other serious medical condition are devastated by lost wages, uncovered medical expenses, and related out-of-pocket costs at a time when financial hardship should be the least of their worries. The APWU encourages every member to consider the benefits offered under these Aflac plans.

Informational material is available to all APWU local and state affiliates, and union presidents are invited to schedule an explanation-of-benefits meeting for their membership. Contact Mike Walker, Aflac’s APWU Enrollment Coordinator at 877-235-2266 (877-Aflac66).

Remembering the Troops

Special thanks to: Adrian Coleman Boston, a member of the APWU Winston-Salem Local, for organizing the first of what we hope will be an annual Columbus Day Golf Classic charity tournament. The event at the Winston Lake Golf Course raised more than $1,000 that will be used towards an APWU Support Our Troops Gratitude Dinner.

Thanks also to: Las Vegas Area Local members for adopting an entire U.S. Military Squadron serving in Iraq. Reminder: The deadline for contributing backpacks to the Winterhaven Stand Down to help homeless veterans is Jan.7.

Send details regarding your efforts to support our troops and veterans to scarney@apwu.org. Digital pictures encouraged.

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