Machinist Custom Choices Worksite Benefits Program
In 1996, the railroad district of the IAMAW approached the International with what they felt was a gap in coverage between the benefits provided by the company through the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the cost being borne by the members. They requested that they be given an opportunity to explore supplemental insurance products that members could purchase on an individual basis to fill this gap. This led to the forming of the Machinist Custom Choices Worksite Benefits program. Initially, the program was successfully offered to Machinists in 264 railroad locals throughout the country. From that positive experience the International, at its 2000 Grand Lodge Convention, unanimously endorsed the program and supported its offering throughout the IAMAW.
Since those early days in the railroad locals, the Machinist Custom Choices Worksite Benefits program has allowed members to provide more financial security for themselves and their families through a series of individual insurance products offered at the worksite through payroll deduction. The Life, Critical Illness, Cancer, Disability Income and Accident insurance policies were custom designed for Machinists and negotiated with features and values based on the size of the IAMAW’s national membership.
In addition to all of the major railroads, the program has been offered at IAMAW represented companies such as Learjet, Boeing, Cessna, Spirit Aerosystems, Lockheed Martin, Greyhound, Army Fleet Support, Stennis Space Center, and many others. The individual policies purchased through the program are now carried by more than 60,000 Machinists across the country. Those products include:
1. Permanent Life Insurance - Available to members, their spouse, children and grandchildren. Members can purchase life insurance regardless of their health and the cost of their policy will never go up nor will their benefits go down.
2. Critical Illness Insurance - Available to members and their families. This policy provides a lump sum benefits of $15,000, $25,000, or $50,000 should an insured have a heart attack, stroke, be diagnosed with cancer or one of the other covered illnesses.
3. Comprehensive Cancer Insurance - Available to members and their families. Benefits are paid directly to the insured while being treated for cancer. These benefits are over and above the benefits paid from the member’s major medical plan.
4. Accident Plan - Available to members and their families. This policy helps offset loss of income due an accident. Coverage is provided on a 24 hour basis, on or off the job.
5. Long-Term Disability Income Insurance - Available to members. Benefits begin following six months of disability and are payable for up to five years. Monthly benefit options range from $300 to $6,000.
6. Catastrophic Loss Rider - This rider attaches to the life insurance policy and provides a monthly benefit beginning 90 days following the loss of 2 activities of daily living (bathing, toileting, transferring, dressing, eating, and continence).
***Insurance products must be filed and approved by each State’s Department of Insurance. Policy provisions in your state may be slightly different than the provisions shown on this website.
All of the policies, with the exception of the long-term disability policies, are fully portable, meaning members keep the same cost and benefits if they leave employment or retire. Premiums are then paid directly to the insurance company. As an added benefit, each policy contains a Strike Waiver of Premium provision, which keeps policies in effect in the event of a strike without paying any premium.
The beauty of the Machinist Custom Choices program is that it allows members to select the benefits that are best suited for their own particular needs and fund those benefits through payroll deduction. As the program does not create an economic factor for the employer, adding the benefit package offered through the Custom Choices program to labor contracts is attractive to both the union and employer.
The staff at Employee Benefit Systems and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers believes that in order to have the best benefits available in the marketplace, or Custom Choices, quality affordable products are essential. Service to those covered by the products is of the utmost importance. For this reason, EBS has brought together a package of high quality products and fully integrated services in a manner that provides a seamless voluntary benefits program for each member.