Health & Pension FAQs

Health & Pension

When do my benefits start?

The month following initiation into the Union.  First you have to be initiated as a member of Local 955, you also have to have 350 adjusted hours in order to start the coverage.  We always receive the hours the month after they have been worked and they go to pay premiums for benefits the month after that.  For example, you know you have worked the hours in November, but we won’t receive the hours until December and your coverage won’t start until January 1. 

Can I keep receipts until my coverage "kicks in"?

No, unfortunately, all claims are paid based on the date of service.  Any claims prior to your coverage date would not be eligible for reimbursement.

Can I get a number to give to my pharmacist/dental office?

Once your coverage begins, we will mail out a new member package.  In that package is a registration form that has to be filled out and returned to our office before a Certificate number can be issued.  We will mail out a card that you will receive about 2-3 weeks after your registration form is received.  However, you can contact the trust office about a week after we have received your form and we can give you information.

Why is my spouse/children not covered?

Various reasons.  It could be due to an improperly completed form or if your spouse or children have a different last name.  After submitting a registration form, if your spouse has a different last name than yourself, we require a marriage certificate, or the Declaration of Common-Law filled out on the Registration form if you are not legally married.   For children who have a different last name, we require a large format birth certificate that indicates parentage in order to cover them under your benefits.  Once these documents are provided, we will cover your spouse/children for the same coverage date as yourself.

I am a member in Good Standing and have an illness that requires me to be away from work, how and when do I apply for Short Term Disability (Weekly Indemnity) Benefits?

To apply for Short Term Disability Benefits also known as Weekly Indemnity Benefits, the first step is to contact the Health and Wellness and Pension Trust Office at (780) 483-9550.  Your benefits plan with the Operating Engineers Local 955 Health & Wellness Plan is first payer for disability claims.  The benefit level is equal to the Employment Insurance Sickness Benefit (for 2016 this benefit is $537 per week).  The maximum benefit period for Short Term Disability is 32 weeks.  In order to be approved for Short Term Disability, you need to be a member in Good Standing with the Operating Engineers Local 955 and not be self-paying for benefits coverage.  Your claim for Short Term Disability needs to be submitted to the Trust Office within 90 days of your date of disability.  In order to avoid delays in processing your Short Term Disability claim, it is advised to contact the Trust Office as quickly as possible for your illness.

Do I have coverage for Emergency Out of Country Travel Insurance with my Health & Wellness Benefits from the Operating Engineers Local 955 Health & Wellness Plan?

If you are a member in Good Standing with the Operating Engineers Local 955 and you have an Hour Bank balance of 130 hours or more or are making self payments for your benefits coverage, coverage for Emergency Out of Country Travel Insurance is provided by the health plan.  The maximum coverage is valid for 30 days to a maximum of $5 million. If you are planning a trip outside of Canada, it is important to have the “purple” coloured card with you.  If you require another card, contact the Trust Office at (780) 483-9550 for assistance.

My Hour Bank for Health and Wellness coverage has run out. Is it possible to continue my coverage with self payments?

If you are a member in Good Standing with the Operating Engineers Local 955 and your Hour Bank for benefits coverage has run out, you may make self payments for coverage.  The cost would be $150 per month for a maximum of 18 months.  Payments may be made online, in person at the Trust Office or by contacting the Trust Office at (780) 483-9550.  When making self payments online, VISA debit and VISA and Mastercard are accepted.  In person, debit card and VISA and Mastercard are accepted.  If you are making self payments by phone, Visa and Mastercard are accepted.

Is it possible to maintain my Life Insurance coverage if my coverage with the Operating Engineers Local 955 Health and Wellness Plan ends?

If your coverage ends with the Operating Engineers Local 955 Health and Wellness Plan and you are under the age of 65, you are eligible to convert your Group Life Insurance to an Individual Life Insurance Plan.  The process needs to be completed within 31 days of your coverage ending with the Operating Engineers Local 955 Health and Wellness Plan.  To obtain more information about this contact the Trust Office at (780) 483-9550.