WELFARE FUND ● PENSION FUND
8000 CORPORATE DRIVE ● LANDOVER, MD 20785
MICHAEL W. JACOBSON, Administrator
From the Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees
of the National Automatic Sprinkler Industry Welfare Fund is pleased to report
that benefit changes that have been in effect since January 1, 2011, along with
the additional changes that were effective January 1, 2012, have resulted in
favor- able financial experience for the NASI Welfare Fund. Also contributing
to this positive result was the January 1, 2012, hourly contribution increase
and excellent investment returns on the reserves of the Fund.
Unfortunately, part of the reason the NASI Welfare Fund is in a better-than-expected financial position is that there are fewer participants eligible for benefits than in previous years. It is expected that this trend will reverse itself once construction picks up.
At this time, the Trustees have decided that there will be no change to the deductibles, co-insurance levels or out-of-pocket maximums for 2013.
Tobacco use remains
the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the
United States. For those who smoke or otherwise use tobacco products, the Fund
continues to pay for an opportunity for you to “Quit for Life®”.
The Quit For Life® Program has resources to help you quit. The NASI Welfare Fund will pick up the en- tire cost of your participation including the cost of certain prescription drugs, like Chantix or Zyban.
With their counseling, your chances of quitting for life are 8 times greater than trying to quit on your own.
More than 500,000 tobacco users have already been helped using the Quit For Life® Program. It works. Hundreds of NASI Welfare Fund participants and dependents have used this program and are now tobacco free.
Call today for FREE coaching at 1.866.QUIT.4.LIFE (866.784.8454) or visit www.quitnow.net.
If you choose to participate, the fact of your participation will not be shared with anyone except for Fund staff and professionals (and, if necessary, Medco) as
necessary to follow up on long-term cost benefits of the program, in keeping with federal privacy law.
During this past year, our “pharmacy benefit manager”, Medco, was purchased by a firm in that same business, Express Scripts. As a result of the purchase, the two companies are now one company and will do business under the name of Express Scripts. The Trustees have been advised that there will be no disruption experienced by participants of the NASI Welfare Fund. You do not need to take any action; your prescriptions will continue to be handled by the merged and now larger company. You should treat contact and information from Express Scripts as you would treat contact and information from Medco; they are now the same company. The telephone number and address for Medco will continue to be used. There is no plan to reissue NASI or Blue Cross ID cards to reflect this name change.
Some years ago, a
goal was announced that pensioners and beneficiaries would be asked to pay an
increasing portion of the cost of their coverage eventually reaching the goal
of retirees paying 50% of the cost of retiree coverage.
In keeping with this goal, the Trustees have made changes to the monthly self-payment amounts required for retiree medical coverage as described below.
self-payment for pensioners or beneficiaries who are not yet eligible for
Medicare will de- crease from $790 per month to $755 per month beginning
January 1, 2013.
Pensioners and beneficiaries whose Local Union has a Retired Employee Subsidy Account (RESA) and who are eligible for their local union’s RESA will continue to benefit from their Local Union’s subsidy of the cost of their coverage. If your Local Union plans to change the amount of the subsidy, you will be advised in a separate announcement.
In keeping with the
policy as stated above, the monthly self-payment for pensioners or
beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare before 2002 will de- crease from
$260 per month to $250 per month effective January 1, 2013. For those
pensioners or beneficiaries who become eligible for Medicare after 2001, the
monthly self-payment cost for coverage will de- crease from $310 per
month $300 per month effective January 1, 2013.
Medicare-eligible Pensioners and beneficiaries whose Local Union has a Retired Employee Subsidy Account (RESA) and who are eligible for their local union’s RESA will continue to benefit from their Local Un- ion’s subsidy of the cost of their coverage. If your Local Union plans to change the amount of the subsidy, you will be advised in a separate announcement.
The premium for the NASI Welfare Fund for those participating in the Fund through participation agreements (e.g. owner members) will remain $1,347.20 per month.
Retiree Benefits and Medicare
Medicare is the primary coverage for retirees, dependents of retirees and beneficiaries. The NASI Welfare Plan requires that individuals who are eligible for Medicare Part B benefits sign up for those benefits. Additionally, if an individual is not entitled to cost- free Medicare Part A, that individual must also purchase Part A coverage from Medicare when they be- come eligible to do so at age 65.
Notification Requirement upon Divorce
Notice of your
divorce must be provided to the Fund office within 60 days of your divorce.
If notice of your divorce is not provided to the Fund Office in this time frame, and as a result, benefits are paid to an ineligible dependent, the Fund can recover those benefits by treating such benefits as an advance to you, and deducting such amounts from benefits which become due to you until the entire amount of benefits erroneously paid is recovered.
Make Sure Your Beneficiary is Up-to-Date
Be aware that your divorce does not invalidate your beneficiary designation. Forms to designate a beneficiary for your NASI Welfare Fund life insurance benefit as well as for your NASI Pension Fund death benefit (for active participants) and for your SIS Pension Fund death benefit are available on the Funds’ web- site, www.nasifund.org or by calling the Fund office.
If You Become Entitled to Social Security Dis- ability Benefits
you have to provide the Fund Office with a copy of your award within nine months of your receipt in or- der to fully benefit from Plan provisions that can re- store or continue eligibility for benefits.
Annual Reminder regarding Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998
The NASI Welfare Plan, as required by the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998, provides benefits for mastectomy related services, including all stages of reconstruction and surgery to achieve symmetry between the breasts, prostheses, and complications resulting from a mastectomy, including lymphedema. Call the Fund Office at 1-800-638-2603 for more in- formation.