Due to the challenges many of our members are facing because of the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus), steps where taken this past Friday when a Funds Trustee’s meeting lead to beneficial steps to help Local 491 members. These members work in the trade show and convention industry which has been completely shut down out of precaution for some time now. These changes have been put into place to better assist these members during this difficult time.
You can listen to and read EST William C. Sproule’s robocall below as well as read additional information you need to know about the changes made. Other Locals will be having emergency Funds this week as well to create a positive impact for families hurt by the loss of work.
This is EST William Sproule of the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, with a recorded message for you regarding changes to the Local 491 Annuity and Health and Welfare Plans. The unprecedented health crisis caused by the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) requires changes to these plans to help assist our members and place our union in a strong fiscal path moving forward. Last Friday, at our funds trustees meeting, the trustees voted on and approved the following:
Through your Annuity Plan, you will now be able to receive a loan that may not exceed $5,000. Participants who have been out of work for at least one month and a participant in the Fund for one year, may apply. Your loan may not exceed one-half of the value of the participants account balance. The funds office is currently working to make this loan application available online. Please be patient as it is still in development.
Your Health and Welfare plan has been approved to cover items and services to diagnose the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus). This includes tele-health, urgent cares, and emergency room visits regarding the COVID-19. Additionally Tele-health services will now be covered in all cases, not just for COVID-19 purposes.
The Health and Welfare Plan will also be waiving all deductibles effective April 1, 2020 through December 31st, 2020.
The Health and Welfare Plan will additionally be waiving all co-payment amounts effective April 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020.
Active participants that met their minimum hours worked and have coverage for the quarter (April 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020.) Will continue to receive coverage the following quarter (July through September)
Vacation Funds assets will be made available ASAP and again in December for 2020 disbursements.
For more information please refer to EAS Carpenters . org under our COVID-19 Updates Page.
To your families, be safe. We will get through this.