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July 5th


 

  Joint Council No. 40
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About Us

The Employment Partners Benefits Fund was established on June 12, 1950. Its original name was “Western Pennsylvania Teamsters and Motor Carriers Welfare Fund,” but as many employers in other industries began participating in the Fund, its name was changed to “Western Pennsylvania Teamsters and Employers Welfare Fund.” Since it now covers members in many states, the Trustees decided to operate under a new name – the Employment Partners Benefits Fund. Whether referred to as the Welfare Fund, the Employment Partners, or just as “the Fund,” it remains the same non-profit organization administered by employer and employee representatives with the goal of providing top quality benefits to its members.

The Fund was an innovator when organized in 1950, as being one of the first collectively bargained multiemployer benefit plans in the nation. In the period following WWII, prior to the establishment of the Fund, limited benefits were provided through the purchase of standard insurance policies by employer associations for their various member companies. Benefits included only life, accident and dismemberment insurance. With the establishment of the Fund in 1950, all welfare matters came under the direct control of a Board of Trustees composed of an equal number of employer and employee representatives. In 1957, the Trust Agreement was amended to expand coverage to include medical and hospitalization benefits.

Over time, states and the federal government began to regulate health insurance products and multiemployer welfare funds. Since 2000, the Fund restructured many of the benefits in its plans on a self-insured basis, thus minimizing state law regulation and streamlining costs by the assumption of and reserve funding for its own risks. Today, benefits are generally governed solely by federal laws, such as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”). Amendments to ERISA and other federal laws continue to shape the benefits provided. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (the “ACA”) imposes substantial, costly obligations on the health insurance market, but since the Fund is a collectively bargained, self-insured, self-administered plan, the ACA’s impact on Fund costs is less burdensome. As a result, it is anticipated that the Fund will be able to offer the most competitively priced and most comprehensive benefit packages available.

By self-insuring medical benefits, the Fund assumes the claim risks of its own population of covered employees and beneficiaries and is therefore not required to compensate a for-profit insurance carrier for assuming risks of the general public. Compared to the wide-open risk pools of ACA Marketplace Plans, the Fund’s coverage of an employment-based risk pool allows it to experience more manageable costs. Motivated by the common interests of employers and employees, the Fund is able to provide you with access to both network and out-of-network doctors, hospitals and other health providers. It is the goal of the Trustees to constantly monitor health care options to provide the highest quality and lowest costs.

The Trustees of the Fund are actively involved in the direct control of related welfare programs and maintain final say on resolving disputed benefit claims. The Fund constantly researches best health care options to design plans which have cost efficiencies and desired benefits.

Today, the Fund operates from its administrative office in Bridgeville, PA, serving several thousand participants and their beneficiaries. It currently offers a wide range of package and matrix plans including medical, surgical, hospital, dental, vision, sickness and accident, prescription drug, death benefits and an early retirement cash subsidy. It has implemented many innovative programs, including:

  • Self-insured specific benefits
  • Trustee designed benefit features
  • Zero or Low Deductibles
  • Competitive Co-pays
  • Zero or Low Co-insurance
  • Reduced Out of pocket maximums
  • Professionally managed investment of cash reserves
  • Avalability of benefit menus under Matrix plans.

As a result of such cooperative initiatives, coupled with the savings realized from self-insurance, the Fund is able to pass on the savings realized by these cost reduction measures through lower premiums, or alternatively, enabling groups to include certain additional benefits, lower deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance than those available from private insurance companies and ACA Marketplace Plans.

Our goal in publishing information on this website is to provide you with important information in a timely and immediate format now possible via the internet. Links to printable forms and governing documents can also be found within these pages. Traditional publications, such as the Summary Plan Descriptions, medical benefit grids, booklets and required notices are still distributed and may be requested along with any other information that you may require by contacting:

William L. Parry, Jr., Director
Employment Partners Benefits Fund
50 Abele Road, Suite 1005
Bridgeville, PA 15017
412-363-2700 (phone)
800-242-0410 (phone – toll free)
412-363-0580 (fax)

You can also reach us by e-mail at contactus@epbfund.com.

We will continue to enhance the website and promptly publish news and links to websites of related interest and features, such as responses to frequently asked questions. So check back often and if you have any comments or suggestions, please let us hear from you.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE EMPLOYMENT PARTNERS BENEFITS FUND

 
 
 
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