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Skip Navigation LinksHome » Health Benefit Retiree Info » Eligibility Enrollment  
 

General Eligibility
To be eligible for Retired Participant benefits you must be receiving pension benefits from the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Pension Fund, the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Millmen Pension Fund, the Carpenters Pension Fund of Illinois (Geneva) or the Carpenters Local 496 Pension Fund based on at least 10 years of Vesting Credit. If at some time you did not earn Vesting Credit for a period of three or more consecutive calendar years the requirement is 15 years of Vesting Credit. Note that you can only earn one year of Vesting Credit per calendar year.

Additionally, if you were receiving self-pay Retiree medical insurance benefits from the Carpenters Pension Fund of Illinois (Geneva) at the time of the merger on March 1, 2003 you are also eligible for Retired Participant benefits from this Fund. If you previously rejected or cancelled self-pay Retiree medical benefits from Geneva, you will NOT be allowed to enroll in this Plan.

Initial Enrollment
When you apply for a pension benefit from the Pension Fund, the Fund office will let you know if you meet the eligibility requirements for the Retiree Insurance. If you do, information about the Retiree Plan of Benefits, premium information, and an enrollment form will be sent to you. The enrollment form must be completed and returned to the Fund Office along with all supporting documentation requested on the form (marriage document, children’s birth certificates, etc.).

You and your eligible Dependents may elect to enroll in the Comprehensive Medical benefit and the Prescription Drug benefit. You do not have to enroll in both the Comprehensive Medical benefit and the Prescription Drug benefit if you do not wish to do so. If you or your eligible Dependent are eligible for Medicare, the Comprehensive Medical is secondary to Medicare.

If you do enroll at the time of retirement, you may cancel the benefit coverage in which you elected to enroll at a later date by completing a cancellation form. The cancellation form must be submitted to the Fund Office by the 15th day of the month prior to the month in which you wish coverage to terminate.

If you enroll at the time of retirement and then cancel coverage at a later date, you will only be allowed to re-enroll after the cancellation if you provide proof of continuous coverage with another plan.

It is also important to note that, in order for your spouse and/or eligible dependents to enroll in either the Comprehensive Medical benefit or the Prescription Drug benefit, you (the participant) must be enrolled in the benefit(s) in which your spouse and/or eligible dependents wish to enroll.

Identification Cards
Identification cards are mailed to eligible retired participants at the time coverage becomes effective. Your cards will be issued with a Unique Identification Number (UID), which is used instead of your Social Security Number. It is important for you to become familiar with your UID number as you will use this number on all medical claims.

Effective Date of Retiree Coverage
You, your spouse, and your eligible dependents will become eligible for retiree insurance coverage on the first day of the month that your initial pension check is processed. There are certain situations when the retiree insurance coverage will not be effective at that time including run out of eligibility under the Active Plan of benefits, COBRA Continuation Coverage, and coverage by another plan. These exceptions are described below.

It is important to note that, if for any reason your pension is being processed with a retroactive effective date the retiree insurance coverage will NOT be retroactive to the pension effective date.

Effect of “Active” Eligibility
Retiree coverage will not become effective, and you will NOT pay monthly premiums for the Retiree benefit(s) in which you elect to enroll, until the first of the month after your eligibility under the Active Plan of benefits end.

Effect of COBRA Continuation Coverage
If you elect COBRA continuation coverage, you must still make your elections concerning the Retiree coverage at the time of retirement. HOWEVER, the retiree coverage will not become effective, and you will NOT pay monthly premiums for the Retiree benefit(s) in which you elect to enroll until the first of the month after your COBRA benefits end. It is your responsibility to notify the Pension Fund IN WRITING by the fifteenth (15th) of the month in which your COBRA will end so that you can be added to the appropriate Retiree benefit(s) the following month.

Effect of Coverage by Another Plan
If you, your spouse or your dependents are covered by another plan you may postpone coverage for yourself, your spouse and Dependent children covered by the other plan until coverage through the other plan ceases. However, you must enroll in the appropriate (carpenter) retiree benefits(s) the month following the termination of the other plan.

You should request an enrollment form from the Retirement Benefits Department (or click here for the form) at least thirty days in advance of the date that you wish to be added to the carpenters plan.

Additionally, postponement of coverage is only allowed for the benefit(s) for which the other plan provides coverage. For example, if the other plan provides hospital and medical coverage but does not provide prescription coverage, you can only postpone coverage under the Comprehensive Medical benefit. You cannot postpone coverage in the Prescription Drug benefit if the other plan does not provide prescription drug coverage.

New Spouse
If you marry after your retiree benefit(s) becomes effective, your new spouse will become eligible for coverage on the date of your marriage, provided that you complete an enrollment form (which can be requested by calling the Retirement Benefits Department or by clicking here) and submit the required documentation (the marriage document) within ninety (90) days of your marriage. You may postpone coverage for a new spouse only if there is other coverage through another plan. In this situation, enrollment must take place immediately following the termination of the other plan.

New Dependent
If you acquire a new dependent after your retiree benefit(s) becomes effective, the dependent will become eligible for coverage on the date that you acquire the dependent, provided that you complete an enrollment form (which can be requested by calling the Retirement Benefits Department or by clicking here) and submit the required documentation (the natural child’s birth certificate, the adoption papers or other documentation as needed within ninety (90) days of the date you acquire the Dependent. You may postpone coverage for a new dependent only if there is coverage through another plan. In this situation, enrollment must take place immediately following the termination of the other plan.

Qualified Medical Child Support Orders (QMCSO)
A Qualified Medical Child Support Order (QMCSO) is a court order that requires a Retiree to provide medical coverage for his or her children (called alternate recipients) in situations involving divorce, legal separation, a paternity dispute or other domestic relations proceeding.

This Retiree Welfare Plan provides benefits according to the requirements of a QMCSO. The Fund Office will notify affected participants and alternate recipients if a QMCSO is received. You may obtain a copy of the Plan’s QMCSO procedures by clicking here.

 
 

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