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SIU member learns the unexpected benefit of Union Plus benefits

Posted on November 11, 2012
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As high health care costs keep working families away from the doctor or dentist, Union Plus is fighting back with a Health Savings program that can make health care services more affordable.

With the help of savings on dental care, union member JonDa Tanner was able to land her dream job at sea by allowing her to pass the medical exams.

"Without the Union Plus Health Savings Program, I wouldn't have my Seafarers International Union (SIU) job," says Tanner, an adventurous 32-year-old from Seattle, WA.  Tanner explains that the dental discounts available through the Union Plus Health Savings Program allowed her to afford dental work necessary to show that she was in good health, a requirement for the SIU apprentice program to which was applying.

Though not an insurance program, the Union Plus Health Savings Program makes health care services affordable to union members and union retirees through a discount program covering a wide variety of health care needs. Participating union members can enjoy significant discounts on dental, vision, hearing, physicians and hospitals, foot and ankle, and prescription drugs. In addition, union members may add other members of their household â€" children, spouses, parents â€" to their plan, for no additional fee.

Moreover, the Union Plus Health Savings Program features an extensive network of providers throughout the country. A full listing of participating providers is available for viewing at or by calling 1-877-570-4845.

Tanner, who was drawn to the union movement because of her passionate belief that workers benefit from a collective voice, makes a point of learning what union benefits are available to her union sisters and brothers.

"The Health Savings Program has been great. I've enjoyed savings on dental work and on prescriptions. You really can save a lot of money. I hope other union members take advantage of the savings," says Tanner.

No doubt, Tanner will have a plenty of time to inform her fellow crewmates of the value of unions and the array of union benefits, including those offered by Union Plus, that are available to them. Her job as a cook for about 24 crew members on a cargo or container ship will last from 60 to 142 days per trip. It is a job that gives her the opportunity to travel around the globe, exploring everything from the rare wildlife of Africa to the unique markets of Turkey.

The Union Plus Health Savings program is just one of a wide array of offerings available to union members and retirees.

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