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Chambersburg Union Members Fighting Back Against New Wellspan Rx Program

When Jenny Price heard what her prescriptions would cost she thought it must be a mistake.

“$2653” 

Jenny Price MemeThat was the text she got from her husband who was picking up the three monthly maintenance medications both she and her husband take to treat serious conditions.

Normally the cost would be $75 — $25 copay for each of the meds. She assumed he forgot a decimal point but he confirmed: almost $2700. A 3500% increase.

Then she remembered the letter from Wellspan just before Christmas saying that her prescription plan would change in the new year and while some employees may have some medications change no one would be significantly impacted. $2700 was significant to Jenny, an Interventional Radiology Tech who had been at Chambersburg for more than three decades.

The Prices were able to work with their pharmacist to get their bill down to $650 and while still a hefty bill, Jenny paid it because the meds are important. 

But it really angered her when she found out one prescription her doctor ordered was denied outright, another was changed to a different version, and yet another was reduced to a new monthly limit. Suddenly decisions about her treatment were no longer being made by her doctor. They were being made by her insurance.

“They were taking control of everything,” said Jenny.

Soon she learned that this wasn’t just happening to her. It was happening to more and more of her Chambersburg Hospital coworkers.

“I work with people who have had cancer, who have had transplants,” she said. “What if [the new plan administrators] decided those weren’t the right meds or they weren’t going to cover it?”

That’s what spurred Jenny to action. She got involved in filing a grievance and is planning to be part of negotiating the new union contract with Wellspan in the next few months.

Jenny said she loves her job but she feels like she needs to stand up for her coworkers and others who aren’t as lucky as her.

“I don’t think we’re asking for anything ridiculous,” she said. “What we had before was very fair. This is not.”

On Wednesday, Jenny and over 25 union delegates met with management to raise their serious concerns about the changes to the Rx plan. They hope to resolve the issue as soon as possible but the grievance process may continue all the way through arbitration, All affected members should begin tracking their Rx expenses so that we can properly calculate the amount of money owed to you.

If you want to join Jenny in fighting to restore your benefits and negotiate for a fair contract that works for everyone at Chambersburg, take the bargaining survey HERE or contact organizer Tommy Whitehouse at tommy.whitehouse@seiuhcpa.org or at 814-933-6800.

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