DEARBORN – Ford Motor Company, United Auto Workers and the UAW Trust are launching an Enhanced Care Program pilot this summer in southeastern Michigan to help improve the health care experience and outcome for Ford’s hourly active employees and the Trust’s non-Medicare retired members.
The goal of the program is to provide care that treats overall health and leads to a better quality of life. Through a personalized care approach, the program looks for ways to help with current chronic, manageable health care needs and to prevent future problems when possible.
“The health and well-being of our employees continues to be a top priority,” said Marty Mulloy, vice president of labor affairs at Ford. “This pilot is expected to help us to deliver better health care to our employees, while helping to lower total health care costs.”
Through the program, participating patients will have access to a personal care nurse, who works closely with a patient and his or her doctor to coordinate care and achieve the patient’s personalized health goals. Patients can contact their personal care nurse by phone, email or in person as frequently as needed at no additional cost.
Participants will be invited into the pilot program by their doctor if their health needs suggest they will benefit from enhanced, more personalized care. The program is voluntary for hourly employees and non-Medicare retirees. The initial phase of the pilot will begin this summer and run for two years.
“The UAW’s goal has been and always will be finding ways to deliver better health care to our members,” said Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president. “Toward this goal, we will continue to partner and innovate with Ford and other organizations to improve quality of care and outcomes, thereby truly addressing costs instead of merely shifting them.
“We believe the added support in this voluntary program will be of great benefit to our highest-needs members,” he added.
The pilot will be conducted in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Care Network of Michigan and Health Alliance Plan, as well as select physicians located in southeast Michigan.
Ford, the UAW and the Trust expect 1,200 to 1,500 participants to join the pilot. In Michigan, Ford and the UAW have approximately 18,000 active hourly employees and the Trust has approximately 118,000 non-Medicare retired members. The $52.4 billion UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust is the largest non-governmental payor of retiree health care benefits in the United States, providing health care benefits to nearly 800,000 UAW retirees and dependents.
“The Trust is pleased to be asked to participate in this pilot program and excited to partner with all of the participating organizations and physicians,” said Fran Parker, executive director of UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust. “We are thrilled about the opportunity to evaluate this innovative approach, which has the potential to improve the quality of life for retirees as well as active hourly employees.”
Ford, the UAW and the Trust play no clinical role in the program, have no knowledge of who is eligible or participating, and provide only financial support. Patient privacy is guaranteed by the federal government under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This program will have no effect on health insurance premiums for UAW members or retirees.