Our staff attorney participated in a phone conference with CMS and other Unions this afternoon and here is the current update. It looks as though the State will be entering into emergency contracts with health insurance vendors such as Health Link, Health Alliance, and other groups. However, nothing is official at this time.
What we know is that if you have already opted for a change, such as Health Link, and that vendor does become available, you do not need to submit a new form. However, if you want to make a change you will have to fill out a form for a vendor. For example, if you opted for Health Link but prefer Health Alliance and Health Alliance does become available, you will need to fill out a form for Health Alliance. To be sure of your change you should attach a copy of the form you have already submitted and mark through it with an "X" and attach it to the new form so that they know you had already made a change and now you are making another change.
Despite what you hear or read, the Unions have been told that EMPLOYEES MUST MAKE THEIR DESIGNATION BY FRIDAY, JUNE 17, 2011. You may mail in you form (postmarked by June 17, 2011), fax it, or scan and email it. You cannot only email a response. You must email the form back to them as they require an actual signature on file. But if you do scan the form into your computer and email the form, then you have made your choice.
They expect to have something posted on the Benefits Choice website by 4 p.m. today. We recommend that you watch your email, our website, and our facebook page for further updates and check the benefits choice website which is where the choices and forms will be available to you.