By KIM LOCCISANO
Times Leader Staff Writer
Since the bankruptcy filing at the end of May, the matter of how to provide access to healthcare for former RG Steel employees has gone largely unanswered. But it has been the focus of an effort from both union and non-union workers and the results are being revealed during the next two weeks.
Employees of the former RG Steel, both union and management alike, are being asked to attend meetings starting Thursday in Yorkville that will provide information and access to information about several insurance coverage options being made available through a program connected to the Health Plan of the Upper Ohio Valley.
Union leaders are warning the coverage for members and non-union will not come cheap.
Meetings for all the locals are being scheduled and made public with the help of local media.
Coverage will be retroactive to Sept. 1, 2012.
The first of these meetings is set for 6:30 p.m., Thursday at the Yorkville Volunteer Fire Department.
Next will be a meeting Friday at 3 p.m. at the Martins Ferry United Steel Workers Local 1238.
The last of the slated local meetings will be held at the Steubenville Local 1223 hall on Monday, Sept. 10 at both 10 a.m. and at 3:30 p.m.
The loss of healthcare benefits, prescription coverage, eye care and dental insurance were among the hardest realities local steelworkers and their family members have had to grapple with in the recent wake of employer RG Steel's operations having virtually imploded, leaving former employees struggling with more questions than there seem to be answers for: particularly concerning healthcare, prescriptions coverage, eye and dental care.
The initial cost per employee will likely be steep, but various options have been developed that will be offered to eligible employees at meetings on Monday, at 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Employees of the now derailed RG Steel are invited to stop in at these meetings to discuss individual items, including medical, prescription, dental and vision.
Loccisano may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org