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Ford-UAW Test Could Affect KC Worker Health Care

Dan Verbeck

Ford Motor and the United Auto Workers Union today rolled out a pilot health care program that might ultimately affect  workers at the Kansas City Claycomo Assembly Plant.

The program would help the chronically ill and was also expected to reduce health care costs.

Ford, the union and the union’s retiree health care trust revealed the program at the company’s Dearborn, Michigan headquarters.

If it works in Michigan, Ford’s head of labor affairs Marty Mulloy said it could be used in places like Kansas City or Louisville, which have larger numbers of retirees. 

A family doctor would recommend patients and they would get services of a free of cost personal health care nurse.  Targets are conditions such as asthma and diabetes.

It was negotiated as part of a contract and Mulloy said health care is Fords biggest paid benefit.

Cost of the pilot program wasn’t revealed but Bloomberg News reports a similar program at Boeing saved 20 percent per worker by cutting hospital care. 

The UAW's Jimmy Settles said the program addresses his union's members with the highest needs. Other union officers say there is also interest in starting a similar program with Chrysler and General Motors.

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