There are some options for RCAs when it comes to health insurance with the USPS. Keep in mind, I do not know anything about the plans personally. I am just showing you the options you have and providing some links for you to find more information. You will have to do some research on what plan would work for you.. The end of Open Season is December 9th, so hurry if you plan to take part in any of these options.
Heath Insurance Options for RCAs
1 The NRLCA currently offers an RCA Benefit plan called TransChoice Advance.
You must be a member of the NRLCA to participate in this plan..
No choice of plan
USPS does not pay towards this plan.
RCA must pay full premiums.
Click here for more information
#2 – The NRLCA and the USPS signed an MOU on Friday, November 14, 2014 that gives many leave replacement carriers the opportunity to enroll in the USPS Non-Career Employee Health Benefits (NCEHB) Plan. At that time it was only available to RCAs that worked more than 30 hours per week. With the signing of the 2015-2018 NRLCA/USPS Contract, all RCAs are now eligible for this plan.
No choice of plan
USPS DOES pay some on this plan
Click here for more information
#3 An RCA that falls under certain criteria may also enroll in the FEHB. (Note: Employee pays full premium. USPS does not pay any of the costs. Noncareer employees (i.e., substitute rural carriers, rural carrier associates, postmaster leave replacements) who meet the following criteria:
Have completed 1 year of continuous employment, disregarding breaks in service of 5 days or less.
Have a predetermined tour of duty.
Have sufficient earnings to cover mandatory withholdings and premium deductions.
RCA pays full premiums.
No USPS contribution
Can choose any plan
Click here for more information
Rural Carrier or City Carrier Post Office Jobs – which is best for you?
You want to be a carrier in the post office, but which position is best for you?
Rural Carriers all begin their career as Rural Carrier Associates (RCA). These positions are part-time, every Saturday and any time the regular carrier needs off work. In most offices, you will have to provide your own vehicle, in which you get paid an Equipment Maintenance Allowance (EMA) on top of the hourly wage. The average hourly wage is $16.00 per hour. RCA’s do not receive health benefits, but they elect to pay for their own health benefits after one year of employment. RCA’s are eligible for annual and sick leave. RCA’s are eligible to “bid” on regular rural carrier positions in their office when an opening is available. Sometimes, it can take a long time to become a regular rural carrier. Once you become a Regular Rural Carrier, then you will begin receiving health benefits, annual, sick leave and can contribute to the Thrift Savings Plan. Rural Carriers are not paid an hourly wage. The routes are evaluated; this is determined by a yearly mail count, your pay will be based on the evaluation of the route.
In some cities/towns, the rural carrier can drive as much as 100 miles per day. You will have to drive on the right hand side of the vehicle, so you would need an appropriate car. Some offices provide their rural carriers with a postal vehicle, but in most cases you would need your own. As a carrier, you are out in all types of weather; ice, snow, rain, etc. You have to be prepared for any type of weather. Rural Carriers usually spend about 2-3 hours in the office casing their mail and 4-5 hours out on the street. Of course, every day is different; it all depends on the mail volume. Mondays and the day after a holiday are usually high volume mail days. If you like driving a vehicle and being outside, this is the job for you.
City Carriers for the most part, do not drive a vehicle to deliver their mail. They may drive a postal vehicle to carry their mail and then do what is called a “Park and Loop”. They will park the vehicle and then get out and walk for several blocks delivering the mail house to house. One of the offices I worked in, we had two city carriers; one of them walked 18 miles a day and the other walked 4 miles a day. You carry your mail in a mail sack that can weigh up to 40 pounds, it’s always nice to get to that last neighborhood, the mailbag is much lighter. Being a City Carrier, you also will be working in all types of weather; snow, ice, hot, humid, etc. You will need to be prepared for all types of inclement weather.
City Carriers have to wear a uniform and will receive a uniform allowance every year to purchase the clothes that are required. Full-time City Carriers receive health benefits, annual, sick leave and can contribute to the Thrift Savings Plan.
The Postal Service hires City Carrier Assistants (CCA), which is a part-time position. The average pay for a CCA is $15.00 an hour. They are hired to work 365 days and then can be reappointed provided they are performing well. CCA’s earn 1 hour of annual leave for every 20 hours worked. They also qualify for health benefits after the 90-day probation. Unlike the RCA’s, CCA’s are not eligible to bid on City Carrier positions, if a City Carrier position is posted on eCareer, CCA’s would have to apply on eCareer and compete with everyone else.
Both positions would require taking the 473 Entrance Exam. See http://postalwork.net/eCareer_Guide.htm for a step-by-step process for applying and taking the exam. A postal exam study guide titled Post Office Jobs, the 5th edition, helps you prepare for the exam and it is available at bookstores or check out a copy from your local library.
For more information on rural mail carrier and city post office jobs, including the latest postal pay scales, visit www.postalwork.net.
Good Luck to all on your endeavors to work for the United States Postal
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The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.
About The Author
I began my postal career on June 1, 1991 at the General Mail Facility in Kansas City KS as a Distribution Clerk. Wanting to get closer to home, I transferred to the Pleasant Hill Post Office in Pleasant Hill MO in August of 1993. I have also worked in the Greenwood MO and Bates City MO Post Offices. I began a two year NTE detail in Personnel in October 2003, which turned into 5 years. I was responsible for the hiring of career and non-career employees in the 700+ offices in Missouri and Kansas. This was a very challenging and rewarding position. I retired February 28, 2013 and have been enjoying my free time with my husband, Denny.
United States Postal Service Pay & Benefits reviews: RCA
Non Career Rural Carriers
RCA (Current Employee) - Illinois - June 4, 2021
For Non Career Rural Carriers Only: Good pay but if your hired as part time (non-career) they will work you full time, you will be used at your will, you only get health benefits until someone retires, then you get it all 401k, retirement, paid time off, etc but honestly you probably gonna have to wait years for that chance to be a full time carrier. Just think when your waiting for that chance to be a full time carrier, waiting in that long seniority line of people and your a young man or woman, ask yourself where you think you'll be in 5-10 years, are you still going to be waiting to start earning for retirement or will you be looking at another company that will give it to you right away after your probation period of a new hire. Think it over before you go down the rabbit hole, goodluck.
No advancements till someone retires
Rural Carrier //Rural Carrier Associate //Assistant Rural Carrier
Test required: Virtual Entry Assessment MC - (474) Postal Exam 474
Rural Carrier positions are mail delivery jobs. They are one of the two more common open jobs posted on the USPS website. Postal careers are often started by getting one of these jobs.
Many Postal employees will tell you that a Rural Carrier position is the best job to have. They say that you work with less supervision and that you work in a rural environment that is far more enjoyable than an inner-city or metro area.
There are three categories of Rural Carrier positions as listed below. Applicants for all three categories must take Postal exam 474. Depending upon the needs of local Post Offices, you will regularly find job postings for all three categories nationwide. Details on wages, benefits, and hours are provided in individual job postings.
Rural Carrier is a fulltime career position that comes with the famous complete Postal benefits package.
Rural Carrier Associate (RCA) is a non-career long-term relief job that can work directly in to a career position. When a career Rural Carrier position opens up, it is offered to the senior RCA at that particular facility. If there are no RCAs employed at that facility, the Postmaster posts an open job listing for a career Rural Carrier position. RCAs cover for full-time career Rural Carriers when the full-timer is out due to sick leave, vacation leave, days off, etc. Depending upon the size of the facility and the number of full-time Rural Carriers based there, an RCA might work anywhere from only one or two days a week up to over 40 hours a week. If an RCA is based in a smaller facility with limited hours to offer, he/she is often able to get more hours by covering for full-timers at other nearby facilities.
Assistant Rural Carrier (ARC) jobs are similar to RCA jobs except that (1) ARCs are expected to work relief specifically on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays and (2) ARC jobs cannot work directly into career positions.
How to apply.
Usps benefits rca
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