March 01, 2017

Manchin Furious Retired Miners Received Benefit Termination Letters While Senate Fails to Act

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is furious that 22,800 retired miners are receiving letters today letting them know that their healthcare benefits will be terminated at the end of April and is calling on Congress to act immediately to prevent this devastating failure.

“Our retired miners’ healthcare and pension benefits are in jeopardy yet again as the Senate fails to act,” Senator Manchin said. “Since the passage of a four-month extension of this deadline to April, I have been working with everyone and from every angle in order to prevent our miners from losing their healthcare and retirement benefits. But, once again, they are facing a deadline that puts their whole livelihood at risk. This has been a long fight and it is far from over. Everyone who has joined me in this journey understands that fighting for working people is what we were sent here to do. I am doing this for all of the retired miners who continue to walk the halls of Congress and fight for what is rightfully theirs. When only a four-month extension passed in December, I promised them that this body will not abandon them. We will keep working to find a solution that is worthy of them. I refuse to let them down.”

Read the letter that retired miners received today below or click here.

The UMWA 1993 Benefit Plan notified you in December 2016 that the U.S. Congress had passed the Continuing Health Benefits for Miners Act, which provided for the transfer of federal funds to the Plan to cover the health care benefits you receive through April 30, 2017.  The Plan cautioned that further Congressional action would be necessary in order for the Plan to provide health care coverage to you after April 30.  At this time, Congress has not taken the action needed to continue your benefits.  Unless Congress acts before the end of April, the 1993 Benefit Plan will not be able to provide you with the health benefits that you have been receiving from the 1993 Plan, and those benefits will terminate effective May 1, 2017. In addition, your Funds’ Health Service Card will no longer be valid.

Please see the attached information sheet for other coverage options that may be available to you if your 1993 Plan benefits terminate on May 1, 2017.  Please feel free to call our call center at 1-800-291-1425 if you have questions or need assistance.