Notice Regarding Benefits and Coverage Related to COVID-19

Message from the Teamsters Local 856 Health and Welfare Trust Fund Board of Trustees regarding health insurance coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Teamsters Local 856 Health and Welfare Fund has outlined the following steps in response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. The Trustees took action to implement the actions below to ensure coverage is in place for members in this difficult time.  The health and safety of all plan participants is a serious concern for the Trustees and an ongoing effort is underway to keep everyone apprised of any changes that may occur as we learn more.

  1. The Board of Trustees has enacted a temporary COBRA rate of $0.00 for the 2-month period of April and May 2020 as a result of any layoffs or loss of coverage as a result of COVID-19.
    • Please note – You still must elect and enroll in COBRA coverage in order to obtain Health and Welfare Benefits. This will require you to sign and return the COBRA election form to the Fund office.
    • After the 2-months of April and May 2020 have passed, COBRA premiums will resume at normal rates. Please contact the Fund office to determine what the COBRA amount will be starting June 1, 2020, should you want to continue your COBRA benefits.

  2. Out-of-pocket costs associated with testing for COVID-19 for both PPO and non-PPO providers under the Direct Pay Anthem Plan will be waived. This would include both the cost of the test as well as office visits or other provider charges related to the testing.
    • Treatment of COVID-19 would still be subject to applicable cost-sharing and PPO/non-PPO benefits depending on the provider’s status.

  3. Temporary suspension of any prior authorization requirement(s) for treatment or testing of COVID-19.

  4. Kaiser has also notified the Fund that they will be waiving copays for services related to COVID-19 testing.

  5. Temporary suspension of early refill requirements on maintenance prescription drugs filled at retail.
    • This will aim to avoid the need to leave home to refill and ensure to minimize a lapse in medication.

The Teamsters Local 856 Health and Welfare Fund and its Trustees are continually monitoring the situation to ensure Trust Fund addresses the current needs of its participants.

Please contact the Fund Administrator, Northwest Administrators, with any additional questions or for clarification on the items listed above. The Fund Administrator can be reached at 800.297.4595.