SECTION TWELVE: Important Information About Your Plan

The Plan is administered by a joint Board of Trustees, consisting of four (4) Union representatives and four (4) Employer representatives who serve without pay. Together they manage the overall direction of the Fund. At their sole discretion, they decide whether to change, add or delete benefits.

The Fund Office staff carries out the day-to-day operations of the Plan. These benefit professionals make sure all eligible members are enrolled, monitor Employer contributions, answer questions about Plan benefits, and refer benefit-related issues to the Trustees to be resolved.

Name of Plan

Teamsters Local 251 Health Services and Insurance Plan

Type of Plan

Health and Welfare Plan

Name of Plan Sponsor

Board of Trustees of the Teamsters Local 251 Health Services and Insurance Plan

Agent for Legal Process

The Board of Trustees

Type of Administration

Collectively Bargained, jointly Trusteed Labor Management Trust

Plan Number

501

IRS Employer Identification Number

05-0367950

Plan Year

July 1 to June 30

Sources of Plan Financing

All contributions to the Plan are made by employers in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreements with Local Union 251 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Participants may make contributions as provided by COBRA, the federal law, for a limited period of time.

Benefits are provided from the Fund's assets that are accumulated under the provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and Trust Agreement and held in a Trust Fund for the purpose of providing benefits to covered participants and defraying reasonable administrative expense. Some of the benefits are provided through insurance policies.

The Fund Office will provide, upon written request, the information as to whether a particular Employer is contributing to the Plan on behalf of participants working under a collective bargaining agreement.

Right to Amend or Terminate the Plan

Nothing in this Summary Plan Description is meant to interpret or extend or change in any way the provisions expressed in the Plan. The Trustees reserve the right to amend, modify or discontinue all or part of this Plan whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant.

No Local Union Officer, Business Agent, Local Union Employee, Employer Representative, or Fund Office personnel, consultant or attorney is authorized to speak for or on behalf of, or to commit the Trustees of this Plan on any matter relating to that Plan without the express authority of the Trustees.

Only the Trustees of the Plan have the authority to determine eligibility for benefits and the right to participate in the Plan. This includes:

  • the manner in which hours are credited,
  • eligibility for any benefits,
  • discontinuance of benefits,
  • status as covered or non covered employee, the level of benefits, and
  • interpretation and application of rules and regulations to a particular claim or application.

These determinations are final and binding.

Your ERISA Rights

As a participant in the Teamsters Local 251 Health Services and Insurance Plan, you are entitled to certain rights and protections under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). ERISA provides that all Plan participants shall be entitled to:

Receive Information About Your Plan and Benefits

Examine, without charge, at the Plan Administrator's office and at other specified locations, such as worksites and union halls, all documents governing the Plan, including insurance contracts and collective bargaining agreements, and a copy of the latest annual report (Form 5500 Series) filed by the Plan with the U.S. Department of Labor and available at the Public Disclosure Room of the Pension and Welfare Benefit Administration.

Obtain, upon written request to the Plan Administrator, copies of documents governing the operation of the Plan, including insurance contracts and collective bargaining agreements, and copies of the latest annual report (Form 5500 Series) and updated summary plan description. The Administrator may make a reasonable charge for the copies.

Receive a summary of the Plan's annual financial report. The Plan Administrator is required by law to furnish each participant with a copy of this summary annual report.

Prudent Actions By Plan Fiduciaries

In addition to creating rights for Plan participants ERISA imposes duties upon the people who are responsible for the operation of the employee benefit plan. The people who operate your Plan, called "fiduciaries" of the Plan, have a duty to do so prudently and in the interest of you and other Plan participants and beneficiaries. No one, including your employer, your union, or any other person, may fire you or otherwise discriminate against you in any way to prevent you from obtaining a welfare benefit or exercising your rights under ERISA.

Continue Group Health Plan Coverage

Continue health care coverage for yourself, spouse or dependents if there is a loss of coverage under the plan as a result of a qualifying event. You or your dependents may have to pay for such coverage.

Review this summary plan description and the documents governing the plan on the rules governing your COBRA continuation coverage rights.
Reduction or elimination of exclusionary periods of coverage for preexisting conditions under your group health plan, if you have creditable coverage from another plan. You should be provided a certificate of creditable coverage, free of charge, from your group health plan or health insurance issuer when you lose coverage under the plan, when you become entitled to elect COBRA continuation coverage, when your COBRA continuation coverage ceases, if you request it before losing coverage, or if you request it up to 24 months after losing coverage. Without evidence of creditable coverage, you may be subject to a preexisting condition exclusion for 12 months (18 months for late enrollees) after your enrollment date in your coverage.

Enforce Your Rights

If your claim for a welfare benefit is denied or ignored, in whole or in part, you have a right to know why this was done, to obtain copies of documents relating to the decision without charge, and to appeal any denial, all within certain time schedules.

Under ERISA, there are steps you can take to enforce the above rights. For instance, if you request a copy of the Plan documents or the latest annual report from the Plan and do not receive them within 30 days, you may file suit in a Federal court. In such a case, the court may require the Plan Administrator to provide the materials and pay you up to $110 a day until you receive the materials, unless the materials were not sent because of reasons beyond the control of the Administrator. If you have a claim for benefits that is denied or ignored, in whole or in part, you may file suit in a state or Federal court. In addition, if you disagree with the Plan's decision or lack thereof concerning the qualified status of a domestic relations order or a medical child support order, you may file suit in Federal court. If it should happen that Plan fiduciaries misuse the Plan's money, or if you are discriminated against for asserting your rights, you may seek assistance from the U.S. Department of Labor, or you may file suit in a Federal court. The court will decide who should pay court costs and legal fees. If you are successful the court may order the person you have sued to pay these costs and fees. If you lose, the court may order you to pay these costs and fees, for example if it finds your claim is frivolous.

Assistance with Your Questions

If you have any questions about your Plan, you should contact the Plan Administrator. If you have any questions about this statement or about your rights under ERISA, or if you need assistance in obtaining documents from the Plan Administrator, you should contact the nearest office of the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, listed in your telephone directory or the Division of Technical Assistance and Inquiries, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C. 20210. You may also obtain certain publications about your rights and responsibilities under ERISA by calling the publications hotline of the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration.

The Affordable Care Act

This group health plan believes it is a “grandfathered health plan” under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the Affordable Care Act).  As permitted by the Affordable Care Act, a grandfathered health plan can preserve certain basic health coverage that was already in effect when that law was enacted.  Being a grandfathered health plan means that your Plan may not include certain consumer protections of the Affordable Care Act that apply to other plans, for example, the requirement for the provision of preventive health services without any cost sharing.  However, grandfathered health plans must comply with certain other consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act, for example, the elimination of lifetime limits on benefits. 

Questions regarding which protections apply and which protections do not apply to a grandfathered health plan and what might cause a plan to change from grandfathered health plan status can be directed to the plan administrator at [insert contact information]. You may also contact the Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor at 1-866-444-3272 or www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform. This website has a table summarizing which protections do and do not apply to grandfathered health plans.

Rights of Appeal

You possess the right to appeal to the Board of Trustees the loss of your eligibility status under the Plan. In addition, if you file a claim for weekly accident and sickness benefits, and then receive a decision with which you disagree, you possess the right to appeal the denial of your claim by contacting the Board of Trustees.

The claims filing and appeals procedures described below will apply to claims and appeals over which the Board of Trustees has discretion.  Generally, except for questions of eligibility to participate in the Plan and the determination of eligibility for Weekly Accident and Sickness Benefits, the Board of Trustees does not have any say over benefit determinations made by another provider or insurance carrier. Claims for benefits under such arrangements must be pursued using the claims and appeals procedures provided by such provider or insurance carrier. See Section Eleven for additional information regarding claims and appeal procedures.
The Board of Trustees has full and absolute discretion, authority and power to interpret the terms of the SPD, determine all questions of eligibility and adjudicate weekly accident and sickness benefit claims.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In all cases, provisions under the various claims procedures require that claims for benefits or reimbursement for medical services and appeals from the denial of claims must be submitted within a specific period of time. A failure to meet these time limits may bar the claim or appeal.

Appeal Procedures

If your weekly accident and sickness benefit claim is denied in whole or in part, or you are informed that you are no longer eligible to participate in the Plan, you have the right to appeal. If you wish to appeal a benefit denial or eligibility determination, you must submit the appeal in writing within 180 days after you receive the denial of benefits or eligibility determination. Appeals should be sent to the Board of Trustees at the address below.

Teamsters Local 251 Health Services and Insurance Plan
1201 Elmwood Avenue
Providence, RI 02907

You may submit with your appeal written comments, documents, or other information in support of your appeal. Inasmuch as the appeal will be decided by the Trustees, the appeal therefore will be decided by a person different from the person who made the initial claim decision and who is not a subordinate of the person who made the initial claim decision. No deference will be accorded to the initial benefit decision.

If a health care professional is consulted in connection with your appeal, the Board of Trustees will consult with a health care professional different from the person who was consulted in the initial claim decision and who is not a subordinate of the person who was consulted in the initial claim decision. Upon request, your Fund Administrator will identify any medical expert whose advice was obtained on behalf of Trustees in connection with your appeal.

You will be notified of the decision on appeal within a reasonable period of time, but no later than five days after the monthly Trustee meeting at which your appeal is decided. If the Trustees receive your appeal less than 30 days before the next Trustee meeting, your appeal will be decided at the second Trustee meeting following the date the Trustees receive your appeal. If the Trustees receive your appeal 30 or more days before the next Trustee meeting, your appeal will be decided at the next Trustee meeting.

If special circumstances require additional time to process your appeal, you will be notified in writing of the reason for the extension and the date the claim will be decided, which will be no later than the third Trustee meeting following the date the Trustees receives your appeal.
If your appeal is denied, the notice of adverse benefit decision will-

  • state specific reason(s) for the adverse determination;
  • refer to specific Plan provision(s) on which the benefit determination is based;
  • state that you are entitled to receive, upon request and free of charge, reasonable access to, and copies of all documents, records, and other information relevant to your claim for benefits;
  • disclose any internal rule, guidelines, or protocol relied on in making the adverse determination (or state that such information will be provided free of charge upon request);
  • explain the scientific or clinical judgment for the determination (or state that such information will be provided free of charge upon request), if the denial is based on a Medical Necessity or Experimental treatment or similar limit; and
  • include a statement regarding your right to commence a legal action under section 502(a) of ERISA.

You may not bring a lawsuit to recover benefits under the Plan unless you have exhausted your appeal rights under the SPD.

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