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Blue Light Report - May / June 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I would first like to say, “Tough times never last. But tough people do.” Pipeliners are some of the toughest and most resilient folks, but we are definitely being tested. We already had many enemies to battle, such as cheap nonunion contractors, biased judges, and extreme environmental protesters.

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Blue Light Report Benefits Update - January / February 2020

Automatic Deduction for COBRA Payment is Now Available

COBRA premium payments can now be deducted automatically from your bank account.

If you would like to utilize this valuable tool, the “COBRA Payment Authorization Agreement for Automatic Deduction” form can be found on our website at www.pibf.org, located under the “H&W Benefits” tab, under “PIBF Forms,” Form #21.  Mailing instructions are included on the form, and a copy of a voided preprinted check must be attached.  If the name on the account is not in the member’s name, or a check copy is not attached, the form must be notarized.

Email Addresses and Other Personal Information

To remain HIPAA compliant, PIBF and Local 798 do not share change of address information.  It is extremely important that plan participants notify both 798 and PIBF when permanent address changes occur or when email or telephone numbers change.  You can change your address by mail, by calling the Fund office at 918-280-4800, or by going online to www.pibf.org, logging in to the “Members Login” section and choosing “Change of Address Form” under the “Forms” tab.

Deductibles Renew January 1st

Please remember that medical and prescription deductibles start over at the beginning of the year.  The PIBF office receives a large volume of calls early in the year, questioning the prescription price increase from their last refill.  In most cases, this is due to the deductible having to be met before the prescription is covered with co-insurance.

Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)

The HRA deadline is fast approaching for 2019 claims. Don’t leave money on the table!  Remember to file for reimbursement of your 2019 claims by April 15, 2020.

COBRA and Retiree Coverage

We frequently are asked questions about COBRA and Retiree coverage.  Below are facts and highlights for these coverages.  Please refer to the PIBF Health and Welfare Plan Benefits Summary Plan Description for complete information.

COBRA:

- Single coverage is $435 per month.

- Family coverage is $1,000 per month.

- COBRA can be purchased for 18 months under most situations; if active eligibility is gained within this 18-month period, the 18-month COBRA coverage period will restart when the active eligibility period runs out.

- COBRA can be extended up to 29 months in some disability situations.

- COBRA can be purchased for dependents for 36 months as the result of certain qualifying events.

- COBRA rules are mandated by federal law, and PIBF is required to offer members and their families the opportunity for a temporary extension of health coverage (called continuation coverage) in certain instances where coverage under the plan would otherwise end. PIBF’s COBRA coverage is not administered using internal guidelines but is instead dictated by federal guidelines that are not subject to modification.

- You cannot skip a month of COBRA coverage. If your payment is not received by the due date, the COBRA coverage terminates and cannot be restarted.  You will not have coverage again until you gain active eligibility.  Self-payments are payable monthly and due on the 1st day of the month, subject to a 30-day grace period following the due date.

- COBRA coverage provides the same core medical benefits as active coverage.

RETIREE COVERAGE:

- Member and Spouse both on Medicare Part A & B $150 per person

- Member and Spouse not on Medicare $450 per person

- $150 Additional Dependent

- RX deductible $250 per person annually

- Retirees on Medicare only have $500 deductible on Part A services, Part B no deductible

- Coverage does not include Dental, Vision, Death Benefit and Hearing Aid Benefits

- Includes HRA Benefits

Featured Personnel

Toni Grant

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Toni Gant is a Claims Processor and will celebrate her two-year anniversary with PIBF in May.  She loves traveling with her family and watching Hallmark movies.  She has been married to her husband, Jimmy, for 24 years and has two children – Paige, 23, and Caleb, 18.  She would like the membership to know that she really enjoys working at PIBF.  Toni loves talking to the members and getting to know them as they call in with questions. She feels very lucky to be a part of PIBF and appreciates all the hard work of the members.   Toni says, “I know the membership’s continuous hard work is providing me this opportunity, and I look forward to many more years at PIBF.”

Stephanie Sharp

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Stephanie Sharp has been with PIBF in the Job Control area for almost 12 years.  She processes all incoming checks from the contractors as well as other checks from other locals that send reciprocal monies in. Her daughter, Grace, is 12 years old and loves to play softball. If she is not at work, you can find her either on the softball field for a game, at a tournament, softball practice, or pitching lessons with her daughter.  She loves spending time with her family and enjoying her two nephews and her niece. Her nephews, Ryder and Brantley, are ages 8 and 6 and love to play any type of ball.  Her niece Adalynne is 10 months old and starting to scoot around the house.  Stephanie would like to share a reminder with the membership, “If you work out of another Local, it takes two full months for us to see those benefits start rolling into PIBF.”  She has also shared a favorite quote of hers, “Hard work always pays off, whatever you do.”-Dustin Lynch

MORE 798 STORIES

  • Blue Light Report - May / June 2020
    Dear Brothers and Sisters, I would first like to say, “Tough times never last. But tough people do.” Pipeliners are some of the toughest and most resilient folks, but we are definitely being tested. We already had many enemies to battle, such as cheap nonunion contractors, biased judges, and extreme environmental protesters.
  • Blue Light Report 2 - May / June 2020
    Dear Brothers and Sisters, I hope this report finds our Local 798 family safe and healthy. By now, the COVID-19 pandemic has reached almost every county and parish in the United States. I don’t know that anyone could have forecasted that this virus would sweep through our country with such intensity.
  • Blue Light Report Dispatch - May / June 2020
    There is no way to describe the times in which we are living. We are walking through a situation that no one has dealt with before us. However, we do have work starting. Gas companies and contractors are proceeding with extreme caution.
  • Blue Light Report Benefits Update - May / June 2020
    Virtual Medical Visit option available May 1st   PIBF will be launching the MDLIVE program on May 1, 2020.  This is a virtual medical visit program offered by BlueCross BlueShield for active and COBRA participants and for participants where PIBF is the primary coverage.