Dependent Verification Audit to resume – with employee privacy protections in place.

Yesterday, March 12,  SEIU HCWI members at Meriter Hospital ratified an agreement that permits management and its contractor ConSova to resume the Dependent Verification Audit for employees with dependents covered by Physicians Plus Insurance. 

After months of hard bargaining, your Union won a number of stringent protections for our members including:

  • The right to have a union representative present to provide assistance at every stage of the audit;
  • Employees whose primary language is not English shall be entitled to language-based assistance to comply with the audit;
  • Meriter shall not provide employee Social Security Numbers to ConSova;
  • Members with particular circumstances will have additional time to comply with the audit and supply alternative documentation, as necessary;
  • No union employee will be disciplined in any way for having previously claimed an ineligible dependent;
  • The Union must be notified in advance if Meriter proposes to drop any dependent from Physicians Plus coverage;
  • Members have full rights of appeal with Union representation before Meriter drops any dependent from coverage.
  • ConSova cannot sell, store, transfer or otherwise retain, share or disclose to any person or entity any documents or information it receives regarding employees and their dependents;
  • Most important, you are NOT required to send either original or certified duplicates of birth certificates or marriage licenses to ConSova. The Agreement provides that employees need only show vital records to Meriter Notary Publics at no charge and need not send the records or certified copies of birth certificates or marriage licenses to ConSova.

Please remember that you have the right to have a union representative advise and assist you at every stage of the Audit.  For help or if you have any questions, please contact Dana Dumbacher at danad@seiuhcwi.orgor by phone at 277-1199 Ext. 12.

Important Advisory Regarding Vital Records and ConSova!

Members with dependents covered by Physicians Plus Insurance will shortly receive a letter from ConSova, the out-of-state contractor that Meriter has retained to conduct the dependent verification audit.  The Agreement provides that members need only show birth certificates and/or marriage licenses to Meriter Notary Publics — at no charge– and need not send any vital records or copies thereof to ConSova.  

During negotiations, ConSova admitted that it makes an electronic duplication of every birth certificate and marriage license that it receives. Wisconsin State Law makes it a felony for anyone other than the State Vital Records Office to make a duplicate of a Wisconsin Vital Record, whether by photocopying, scanning or faxing.  In addition, according to the Wisconsin Department of Vital Records,the statute prohibiting such duplication also applies to persons and businesses outside Wisconsin, which includes ConSova, a Colorado company.

On March 7, 2013, the Union received the following communication from Linda Langlois, Vital Records Program Supervisor and Fraud Prevention Coordinator for the State of Wisconsin Dept. of Vital Records:

“These statutes are not limited to Wisconsin companies/agencies/citizens only.  They include everyone including out-of-state companies/agencies/citizens.  If anyone other than who is authorized by law makes a copy of a vital record, they are breaking the law.” (Emphases added.)

The Union promptly forwarded this communication to Meriter and tried to persuade management to drop the “option” of sending vital records to ConSova but Meriter refused.

Therefore, to avoid facilitating a possible violation of the law by ConSova — and because these laws exist to protect you and your family members from identity theft— we strongly advise our membersNOT TO SEND ANY VITAL RECORDS OR CERTIFIED COPIES OF VITAL RECORDS TO CONSOVA and, instead, exercise your right under the Agreement to simply bring these documents to work and display them to a Meriter Notary Public (who is also prohibited from making copies.)

Please remember that you have the right to have a union representative advise and assist you at every stage of the Audit.  For help or if you have any questions, please contact Dana Dumbacher at danad@seiuhcwi.org or by phone at 277-1199 Ext. 12.

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