Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a list of frequently asked questions by benefit type. If your question is not addressed here, you can contact the Fund Office at 516-560-8500.
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- What are generic drugs?
- A generic drug is a copy that is the same as a brand-name drug in dosage, safety, strength, how it is taken, quality, performance and intended use.
- Are generic drugs as safe as brand-name drugs?
- Yes. FDA requires that all drugs be safe and effective.
Since generics use the same active ingredients and are shown to work the same way in the body, they have the same risks and benefits as their brand-name counterparts.
- Are generic drugs as strong as brand-name drugs?
- Yes. FDA requires generic drugs to have the same quality, strength, purity and stability as brand-name drugs.
- Do generic drugs take longer to work in the body?
- No. Generic drugs work in the same way and in the same amount of time as brand-name drugs.
- Why are generic drugs less expensive?
- Generic drugs are less expensive because generic manufacturers don't have the investment costs of the developer of a new drug. New drugs are developed under patent protection. The patent protects the investment - including research, development, marketing, and promotion - by giving the company the sole right to the drug while it is in effect. As patents near expiration, manufacturers can apply to the FDA to sell generic versions. Because those manufacturers do not have the same development costs, they can sell their product at substantial discounts. Also once generic drugs are approved, there is greater competition, which keeps the price down. Today, almost half of all prescriptions are filled with generic drugs.
- Does every brand-name drug have a generic counterpart?
- No. Brand-name drugs are generally given patent protection for 20 years from the date of submission of the patent. This provides protection for the innovator who lays out the initial costs (including research, development and marketing expenses) to develop the new drug. However. when the patent expires, other drug companies can introduce competitive generic versions, but only after they have been thoroughly tested by the manufacturer and approved by the FDA.
- What is the best source of information about generic drugs?
- Contact your physician or pharmacist for information on your generic drug. You can also visit the FDA website at www.fda.gov/cder/ogd/index.htm for more information.
- Do credits from another local count towards my pension when I retire?
- If the other local union is signatory to an agreement with the Road Carriers Local 707 Pension Fund.
- What is the earliest I can collect a pension from Local 707?
- When you have accumulated 15 pension credits and are 55 years old; or after 5 years and age 65.
You may retire at any age if you have at least with at least 25 years of combined service. Refer to SPD for complete details.
- When is the earliest I can retire with medical benefits?
- After you have accumulated 18 years of credit with 707 and a total of 25 years combined. For those retiring after November 1, 2002 you must also be eligible for welfare benefits in the eight quarters immediately prior to your retirement.
- How much does retiree medical coverage cost?
- If you are a retiree that is eligible for medical coverage, your monthly medical co-pay amount would be based on your age, effective date of retirement and whether you choose single or couple coverage.
If you retired prior to September 1, 2004:
|Retiree's Age||Percent of Cost Paid by Retiree|
|Less than 55||75%|
|55 - 57||50%|
|58 - 59||40%|
|60 - 61||25%|
|62 - 64||20%|
If you retired on or after September 1, 2004:
|Retiree's Age||Percent of Cost Paid by Retiree|
|Less than 55||100%|
|55 - 57||50%|
|58 - 59||40%|
|60 - 61||25%|
|62 - 64||20%|
- What death benefits are available as a pensioner?
- You can choose a death benefit of $2,500 in lieu of medical coverage (see above) or if you work at least 22 ½ years with Local 707 out of a total of 30 years, you may choose a $10,000 death benefit in lieu of medical benefits.
- When should I submit an application for retirement?
- 60-90 days prior to your anticipated retirement date.
- When I retire, will I be eligible to receive rate increases that are approved for the active members?
- No, only those rate increases that are approved for retirees.
- Do pensioners get automatic cost of living increases?
- There are no automatic increases. In the past, the Trustees have provided increases when the fiscal condition of the Fund permitted. There is no guarantee that there will be future increases.
- After I retire, could I work and still receive my pension?
- Refer to the Prohibitive Employment section of the Pension Plan SPD.
- How do I find out if I have incurred a break in service?
- Request a Pension Credit Statement from a Pension Department representative.
- If I am only entitled to a small pension, can I receive it in a lump sum payment?
- If the present actuarial value is less than $5,000 the Fund may elect to pay your benefit in a lump sum.
- What day are pension checks mailed?
- Checks are mailed the last business day of the month.
- How do I sign up for direct deposit?
- Request a form from the Pension Department or print a form from the "Documents" section of this site. Submit the form to the Pension Department along with the requested documentation.
- How do I get tax withheld from my pension check?
- Request a form from the Pension Department or print a form from the "Forms" section of this site. Submit the form to the Pension Department along with the requested documentation.
- I have not received my pension check this month. How do I get another check
- After the 15th of the month, you may request a replacement check from the Pension Department.
- My spouse or other relative has died, what happens to the pension benefit: Can I keep the last check I received?
- Pension payments shall end the month that the pensioner deceases. You may keep the check that was received for that month.
- My direct deposit has not been received by my bank. What should I do?
- Contact the Pension Department after the 1st of the current month.
- When will I receive the 13th check?
- On or about December 15th of each year if you retired on or before December 1st of the current year.
- I have moved and have to put in a change of address. What is the procedure?
- Submit a change of address form to the Fund Office. You can print one from this site or request one from the Fund Office.
- My bank has changed. I need a new direct deposit form.
- You can request a form from the Pension Department or print one from this site.
- How do I change my named beneficiary?
- Request a new beneficiary form from the the Pension Department or print one from this site. Submit the completed form to the Pension Department.
- When do my active medical benefits run out and when do my pension medical benefits start?
- Refer to the Welfare SPD for details.
- I lost my medical ID card. How do I obtain another one?
- Contact the Fund Office.
- Are there any medical benefits available to retirees over age 65?
- No, but we have arranged for you to purchase prescription drugs, eyeglasses and dental services at special discounted rates.
- I am now responsible for all business matters for my spouse or relative. How do I add my name to the pension records
- You must submit Power of Attorney for review.
- When will the 1099 tax forms be mailed out?
- Each year on or about January 25th.
- How are pension benefits calculated after January 1st 2005?
- Refer to the document below for a thorough explanation of the way benefits are calculated.
Pension 204h Notice
- How do I add a spouse to my coverage?
- Submit a copy of your marriage certificate to the Fund Office
- How do I add a new baby or dependent to my coverage?
- Submit a copy of the baby’s or dependent child's birth certificate to the Fund Office.
- I want to remove my spouse from my coverage. What do I need?
- Submit a copy of your divorce decree to the Fund Office.
- My child is over age 19 and is a full time student. Can my child still qualify for benefits?
- Yes, if you submit a copy of the child's birth certificate and a letter from the school stating he/she is a full time student earning 12 or more credits. A letter from the school must be submitted every semester/trimester to the Fund Office.
- My child is 19 but physically/mentally disabled. How can I keep him/her on my coverage?
- We will send you an Extension of Benefits package to be filled out by yourself and your child's doctor. The complete package must be submitted to the Fund Office for review and determination.
- I’ve moved and would like to give you my new address. What should I do?
- Print a Change of Address Form from this site or request a form from the Fund Office. Submit the signed form to the Fund Office
- I would like to change my beneficiaries. What should I do?
- Print a Change of Beneficiary Form from this site or request a form from the Fund Office.
- I’m a new member and did not receive an eligibility card. Why?
- You must submit a completed enrollment card and pertinent documentation before we can enroll you in the Plan. You can print a card from this site or request a card from the Fund Office. Submit a completed card to the Fund Office.
- What do I do if I lose my eligibility card or if my wallet is stolen?
- Upon request, the Fund Office will order you a new eligibility and prescription card. It will take approximately 10 working days for you to receive your card from Express Scripts. The eligibility and prescription card are now one and the same.
- I am collecting a weekly workers compensation benefit. What do I have to do to maintain my medical coverage?
- Send copies of your compensation check stubs for the previous qualifying quarter to the Fund Office.
- How long will I be covered on compensation?
- You are entitled to a maximum of 8 quarters in a five-year period. Refer to the Welfare Fund SPD.
- How do you calculate my credits for the quarter when I am on compensation?
- We credit you for up to two eight hour days for each week that you collect a weekly loss of time benefit from worker's compensation.
The following questions relate to those participants covered in a Non HMO Plan. If you are enrolled in an HMO, contact your HMO for referral procedures.
- Do I need to notify Local 707 if I go to the emergency room are treated and released?
- No, but if you are admitted to the hospital, contact Blue Cross at 1-800-553-9603
- How many visits am I allowed for Physical Therapy?
- 24 visits for Physical Therapy per plan year. A plan year is September 1st - August 31st
- Do I need a referral to go to a specialist?
- No referrals are necessary.
- I need to find an Empire Blue Cross (Non HMO plan) provider. How can I locate a provider?
- Call Empire at: 1-800-676-BLUE (2583) or visit their website at www.BCBS.com.
- I need information on my dental plan or need to find a dentist.
- Contact DDS – 1-800-283-9374 or visit their website at www.ddsinc.net.
- I need glasses or contacts or would like to have an annual eye exam.
- Contact Davis Vision.
- Am I allowed a routine physical?
- Yes – 1 physical per plan year
- Can I get a 90-day supply of my Rx through my pharmacy?
- You can get up to a 34-day supply only through a pharmacy. You must mail your prescription to the Teamsters Care Pharmacy for 90 day supplies.
- Do I need authorization for an MRI/CAT Scan?
- When is my COBRA payment due?
- We need to receive your payment by the 1st day of the month for coverage for that month.
- Who should I make my check out to?
- Make your COBRA payment payable to: Road Carriers Local 707.
- Do I receive a bill for COBRA?
- No. It is your responsibility to make timely payments. Your cancelled check is your receipt.
- How long do I have to elect COBRA if I just got divorced?
- When divorced, you have 60 days (only) from the date of divorce to be able to elect COBRA.
- What happens to my life insurance when my coverage terminates?
- You have the option of converting over to an individual life insurance plan. You have only 31 days from your termination date to convert. Call the Fund Office. Refer to the Life Insurance section of the Welfare SPD for information regarding conversion privileges
- What would cause me to have an early termination of my COBRA coverage?
- If you become entitled for Medicare benefits.
- If you become covered under another health plan that has no exclusions or limitations for your pre-existing conditions.
- The Fund ceases to provide any group health coverage for participants.
- Any required premium is not paid in full on time.