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Health Benefits and Health Insurance

NEA strongly supports access to quality, affordable, and comprehensive health care coverage for all residents of the United States. NEA’s Collective Bargaining and Member Advocacy Department works closely with affiliates to do just that and more: offering expertise to locals in response to school districts’ bargaining proposals; assisting affiliate staff with interpreting complex health care regulations; providing resources that demystify the Affordable Care Act and other federal laws and regulations; and responding to affiliates and members’ health benefit and health policy needs. CBMA also works closely with NEA’s national governmental affairs and legal teams, and with affiliate-related health benefit trusts. 

Tools and Resources

Health Insurance Selection Tips for New Educators

If you’re starting a new job in the education field, chances are you’ll need to make decisions regarding your new employer’s health insurance. “New Educators’ Health Insurance Selection Tips” (pdf) walks you through key decision points, provides plain-language explanations, and gives you space to make notes comparing insurance options.

NEA Working To Improve the Affordable Care Act by Eliminating the Excise Tax on High-cost Plans

The ACA includes a tax on high-cost, employer-sponsored health coverage that is scheduled to go into effect in 2022. Always suspecting the term “Cadillac Tax” to be highly misleading, NEA hired the actuarial firm Milliman to determine whether the excise tax on high-cost plans is really a tax on overly generous health plans. The actuaries found that “although the excise tax is often referred to as a tax on overgenerous health benefits, it is likely to be a tax based on factors other than benefit richness and beyond the control of health plan members.”

Read the full report, What Does the ACA Excise Tax on High-Cost Plans Actually Tax? (pdf), or the one-page summary here. For more, see NEA's press release on the report.

Non-NEA Resources

For helpful information on health, health care benefits, and health policy, visit these sites.

Kaiser Health News—A great source for health care-related news

Kaiser Family Foundation—A leading source of information on health benefits, health policy, and health care reform

Families USA—An organization dedicated to fighting for health and health care for America’s families

The Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center for Children and Families—A research center working to improve the health of America’s children and families, particularly those with low and moderate incomes

The American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)—Health care and health policy information and advocacy

Health Care for America Now (HCAN)—The national grassroots coalition advocating to improve and strengthen the Affordable Care Act

Easy-to-understand videos from the Kaiser Family Foundations—An introduction to the Affordable Care Act, explaining the problems with the health care system before the ACA and the major changes included in the law

Health Insurance Explained—Breaking down insurance concepts (such as premiums, deductibles and provider networks) and explaining how individuals pay for coverage and obtain medical care and prescription drugs when enrolled in various types of health insurance (like HMOs and PPOs)

Kaiser Health News

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Collective Bargaining and Member Advocacy

advocating for a living wage for esps


educators standing together


piggy bank being hit with hammer


affordable health care