Tuesday, February 10, 2009

We Need Volunteers To Move This Forward

Hi there, During our group conference calls in December, we asked for volunteers to form a steering committee to share the follow-up work necessary - to research, to find an attorney, to form a group and to get insurance. Many people wrote comments on this blog to join the group and tons of emails flowed in requesting to be added to the group. However, few people volunteered to do any actual work in order to make this idea a reality. Furthermore, others offered to find attorneys etc. but never got back to us... Since over a month's gone by since we all spoke together and folks are still emailing in to express interest in a group or to join it, I thought I'd post here to give one more shout out for volunteers.

We need a steering committe to work together to see if we can move this forward. To volunteer your time, your expertise, some funds, or your contacts in the insurance field or most importantly TO PROVIDE AN ATTORNEY to our group (or perhaps a lead on how we can find the right attorney), please email to the address you've used before: member.upsetfu@gmail.com

p.s. if you can not contribute to the above request, please hold off on emailing us to inquire on the status of our progress for now. It is very time consuming to answer all the emails flowing in. We spent MANY hours at the end of December helping folks find interim insurance options. No kidding, it was like a second job for weeks... We've since replied to as many emails as possible in January despite work demands etc. but that doesn't move the ball forward and it takes valuable time. So please get in touch to volunteer or provide some resources - we need to share the work or this simply isn't going to happen.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Meeting status, interim Insurance and more!

Hello Folks
Thank you for joining us for the conference calls on Sunday night and Monday night. Our next phone meeting is scheduled for Monday Dec. 22, 2008 at 9:00PM. We encourage all who are interested in the group to dial in even if you attended the previous calls. There will be a new call in number and access code to use along with an agenda in your email soon.
Meanwhile please make a note of the date and time so that you can available to join the meeting.

We have been speaking with brokers and have a search in process for a good not for profit lawyer to help us. We have had a lot more people email in that they and their freelancer friends are interested in joining our group so the numbers are growing.
Please put the word out that there are alternatives.

IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT JAN 1, 2009 COVERAGE****************************************
If you have not made a decision yet or even if you have but have not paid Freelancers Union yet for next year, you should know that we have discovered some good interim insurance options for individuals that are still better and cheaper than FU's FIC offering. It is not necessary to pay FU out of desperation if you want to have some kind of continued health coverage, FU is requiring up to THREE MONTHS of required payments up front for those of you who have not signed up prior to Dec. 15. For those of you who have it is still TWO MONTHS up front. So you may be stuck with them till either March. or April and that will slow us down if we cannot get the amount of people necessary to get the larger group rates.here have been nightmares posted about those who have tried to get money back from Freelancers Union. If you are one of those looking for an interim solution, please email this address asap and we will provide you with information or connect you with the broker we are dealing with. The deadline is early next week so please get in touch with us right away.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

News Update

Hello folks, it is I David. Things have been progressing and I want to thank everyone who has emailed me about continuing with BCBS and formation of our own group. If you have not yet received the pdf files I will get them out to you. At this point if we count everyone who has written to me and is serious about this then we have over 50 people and the number has been growing.
I need a new count so I am asking the following from everyone who has written to me. Please send me a new email with whether or not you are still serious about this, number of people you are seeking insurance for, and your skill set since we will need to delegate tasks for this venture to work and any relevant information. I am looking to setup a conference call for over the weekend. You will all be emailed with the number when things are in place to call in. Please get the word out and if you have any way of helping with getting this together you can email me about that as well. There will be more to follow in the email to you about the conference call and the details of what we are hoping to do.
I hope that I have not forgotten anything
Time to go to sleep or wake up.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Interested parties

Hi folks it s David. I am serious about going to BCBS. I could use some help as it will take some time and effort. To get this all together. What I need right ow in a confidential email not to be given out are the names and email addresses of all who are interested in an Empire BCBS plan. I could also use a name of an attorney in the group or someone who can asisst in making this all happen. Please email member.upsetfu@gmail.com with this information and I will do the best I can.
Thanks all!

Friday, November 21, 2008

After the webinar, still no answer

To Sara, please provide a public answer to the open letter we addressed to you. It’s posted here, and on FU blog, since Wednesday.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

An open letter to Freelancers Union

To all FU members.

We are circulating the letter below in an attempt to give a clear voice to our concerns.
If you agree with the content of this letter, PLEASE SIGN WITH YOUR FIRST NAME in the comment section of this post.

Please also circulate this letter to as many interested parties as you can. Including FU members, the press, and the underwriters of FIC, (including the Rockefeller Foundation, the New York State Health Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the New York City Investment Fund, Prudential’s Social Investments Program, and the Pioneer Portfolio of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.)

Wishing you all good health.

Upset FU members.

Dear Ms. Horowitz,

We, members of Freelancers Union, were seriously adversely affected by the recent changes in health care insurance offered by the Freelancers Union. We object to this move in the strongest terms.

We find the reasons offered to these changes to be vague and unsatisfactory. Unclear future benefits are promised in return for very real and immediate disadvantages.

We are further dismayed that no negotiation with Empire BC/BS has taken place to compare their terms with those of FIC side by side.

We find unacceptable the way new members, even those who signed on with Freelancers Union just a few days before the announcement, were not warned by FU reps that the plan they have joined is facing termination.

We object to the fact that there was no consultation with members regarding this move.

We doubt the ability of FIC to serve its members. Since the announcement, it has been almost impossible to get responses to specific questions about details of coverage, either by phone or by e-mail.

We are also offended by what we perceive as insincere talk about the "exciting, important, and meaningful effort," "solidarity" and the mention of "a survey" that had no mention in it of a new health insurance. Such talk diminishes the reservoir of good will that FU enjoys.

We would like to know why the underwriters of FU and FIC allowed this to go through.

We would like FU to quickly address the following:

  • Whether you would be willing to negotiate now with Empire BC/BS for a benefit plan similar to the 2008 plan.
  • And if you can't or won't, why not?
  • If you can’t re-negotiate now with Empire BC/BS, would you allow your team to help us, as a group, to find a plan similar to last year's Empire BC/BS, especially the Direct POS plan, outside of the umbrella of FU.

In Sara Horowitz's own words, we "believe in the radical notion of fairness: we should all have access to the social safety net, regardless of how we work."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

FIC alternatives

If you have suggestions regarding alternative insurance plans to FIC, please add your comments to this post. It will be easier to follow this way.