Health Insurance

Health Insurance Deadline TONIGHT

If you haven't yet signed up for Health Insurance, it's probably a good idea to stop what you're doing right now and sign up. If you don't sign up today, you will not have health insurance from UMass Memorial in 2017. Before you stop reading this, however, we've learned a couple of important last-minute tidbits:
  • If you have already finished, you should have a confirmation number. If you haven't already printed out your confirmation, we recommend doing so. We have learned that, for some reason, some members who believed they had completed the process did not get registered. Having a copy of your confirmation number will be good peace-of-mind for you, and it's what Human Resources will need to reference if they run into any problems or questions. 
  • The system closes down at 11:59 tonight. Start early, because you won't be able to finish after midnight.
If you still need to sign up or print your confirmation number, here's the link to the MyBenefits website.

EVERYBODY Must Re-Enroll for Benefits

Big news for this fall's open enrollment for benefits: Everybody has to re-enroll or they won't have benefits for 2017. And you have to re-enroll on-line.

Open Enrollment Period: October 31, 2016 - November 18, 2016

UMass Memorial is starting a new on-line system they're calling MyBenefits. The good news is that you can access the system from anywhere you have a computer with internet access. The challenge will be for people who don't have easy access to a computer, so plan ahead.

Here's what UMass Memorial is saying:


  • Everyone must complete enrollment online during open enrollment: Monday, October 31 through Friday, November 18. Enroll online by November 18 or you will not have benefits coverage in 2017.

  • Your current elections will not carry over automatically into the new system, requiring you to make your plan selections for benefits coverage, and enter your dependents and beneficiaries.

  • Make sure you have your dependent and beneficiary information before you enroll:
    • Dependent information dates of birth and Social Security numbers
    • Beneficiary information full names, addresses, dates of birth and relationships to you; if you have a trust or organization as a beneficiary, you will need the organizations legal name and address.

  • Prior to open enrollment, you will receive the 2017 Benefits Guide which details important plan information and rates. Please review the guide prior to making your online elections. 

Five-Tidbit Friday: October 23, 2015

. . .  during the coming week
  • University Campus – October 27 (Tuesday)
  • Worcester Business Center – October 28 (Wednesday)
  • Memorial Campus – October 29 (Thursday)

Do you have out-of-towners coming for a visit? Check out Massachusetts InstaFoliage for streaming foliage footage.


SHARE members, like many hospital employees, tend to be savvier about healthcare than most people. Still, if you’re considering changing health care plans this year, and would like to make sure you’re covering your bases before arriving at the benefits fair with your specific questions, here’s some useful online advice.
In this article, Consumer Reports directs people to begin by focusing on three big questions:
  • What does the plan cover?
  • How much does the plan cost? (for SHARE members, the plan costs are roughly the same, with the exception of the PPO plan, which costs more.)
  • Which doctors and hospitals are in the plan?
Nerdwallet provides a sensible and more detailed process for evaluating options.


Among other things, American Unions can rightly claim credit for the weekend and the eight-hour workday. This piece in Forbes magazine makes an argument that we should push for more. (Or less, depending on how you look at it.)


October is Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month. SHARE is happy to recognize our Ultrasound Technologists.

See you here next Friday! Hope you have a great weekend.

Holiday Notes

Season's greetings!

Please note that the SHARE office will be closed December 27th-31st. During that time, a skeleton crew will tend our general voicemail, and provide coverage for emergencies.

It's been a busy year for SHARE, and we're very glad to have weathered it so well. Of course, there's still plenty of work to be done. Though most of the fifty-five SHARE members who were laid-off over the past year are re-situated, we are committed to continue helping the twelve who still seek jobs. We'll also continue our fight for fair pricing on the health-care coverage in the new year, too, and will keep you posted.

Finally, we'd like to highlight a good thing in our community: the UMass Memorial Bell Hill-East Side Homeownership Initiative. This project provides training and financial assistance for qualifying UMass Memorial employees who wish to become first-time home-buyers. According the the Mass Housing Partnership, the initiative is a "$1 million down-payment and neighborhood revitalization fund for the neighborhoods around the three UMass Memorial campuses." For more information, see this story, or call the program administrator at 508-341-9859.

We wish you and your families a happy and safe holiday time. See you next year!