WASHINGTON — In a move to comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the U.S. Postal Service today awarded UnitedHealthcare a contract to support a Postal Service health plan for all eligible non-career employees.
The contract period begins April 30, 2013 and provides coverage for years 2014 through 2016. Three additional terms of two years each may be negotiated for a total possible contract life of over nine (9) years. The estimated contract value is $239 million annually assuming 35,000 participants, but may vary significantly depending on actual non-career employee plan participation.
After conducting a highly competitive and rigorous evaluation of technical aspects, pricing, and other factors in the proposals, the Postal Service determined that the UnitedHealthcare proposal represented the best value. The new contract ensures the Postal Service’s compliance with PPACA while providing non-career employees affordable essential health plan coverage at group rates provided through the Postal Service. The Postal Service has a long history of being a responsible employer and today’s announcement builds on that history.
Approved by Congress in 2010, the PPACA requires employers with more than 50 employees to offer qualifying employees specified levels of coverage at an affordable cost by January 2014. The Act extends coverage to employees who are paid for an average of 30 hours per week for a specified period of time. (No change is required for Postal Service career employees since the coverage provided under the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program satisfies PPACA requirements.) Coverage becomes effective in January 2014.
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