The U.S. Postal Service has awarded a new contract outside the federal insurance program for non-career employees to ensure compliance with President Obama’s health care overhaul.
The contract -- awarded to UnitedHealthcare -- will last a minimum of three years and could stretch as many as nine years. It is worth an estimated $239 million annually, the Postal Service said.
The 2010 Affordable Care Act requires employers with more than 50 employees to extend coverage to all employees who work 30 hours per week for an extended period of time. This Postal Service plan could offer health benefits to 35,000 non-career postal employees who are currently left out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.
Career USPS employees currently enrolled in FEHBP will not be affected by changes to the health care system under the new law, according to the Postal Service. Coverage for eligible non-career employees will be effective in January 2014.
“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,” USPS said in a statement. “The new contract ensures the Postal Service’s compliance with [health reform] while providing non-career employees affordable essential health plan coverage at group rates provided through the Postal Service.”