Welfare fund FAQ's
Here you will find our "frequently asked questions" for the Welfare Fund office. If you can't find the answer to your question here send us an email we will be glad to help you.

I am a new Union Member, how do I become eligible for benefits under the I.U.P.A.T. District Council 21 Welfare Fund? 
If you are a new member or new apprentice who has “NEVER” previously been eligible under the plan you are required to complete 500 hours in Covered Employment within a consecutive six month period. After meeting this initial eligibility your coverage will become effective on the first day of the month following the date yo are credited with 500 hours. You will need to notify, and provide proof to, the Fund Office (employer pay stubs) at this time. The Fund Office cannot track initial eligibility so YOU NEED to call to begin your eligibility. 

I recently got married; can I add my wife to my benefit plan?
Yes, if you get married, your spouse will be covered starting the first day of the month following the month in which you got married. You must notify the Fund Office, complete the enrollment process and provide a proper marriage certificate, identification, etc. 

I recently had a child; can I add my child to my benefit plan? 
Yes, if you have a child by birth, adoption, or placement for adoption, your dependent child will be covered from the date of birth, adoption, or placement, provided you file an application form at the Fund Office within 31 days of the birth/adoption/placement. . Otherwise the child should be added to the plan, the first day of the following month when the appropriate paperwork has been received. 

Stepchildren can also be added to the plan. Proper paper work is necessary, including a form from the benefits department as well as proof of dependency.

Who do we use to provide our prescription drug coverage? 
Effective January 2013, District Council 21 utilizes EnvisionRXOptions as our Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM). Headquartered in Twinsburg, Ohio, EnvisionRxOptions has been providing pharmacy benefit management services nationally since 2001. Through EnvisionRXOptions you can fill prescriptions at any 59,000 participating local pharmacies.  If you would like to get your prescriptions delveried right to your door, please see MAIL ORDER listed below, those prescriptions will be filled through their Orchard Pharmaceutical Services.  Additional information about EnvisionRxOptions and your prescription benefit can be found by registering at www.envisionrx.com.

What are Generic Drugs?
A Generic drug is a chemically equivalent, lower cost version of a brand name drug. The Generic version becomes available when the brand name drug’s patent protection expires, and it usually costs about half the price of the brand name version. Generic alternatives have the same chemical makeup and same effect in the body as their original brand name counterparts, even though generics usually have a different name, color and/or shape. Generics, which have been around for a long time, have undergone rigorous clinical testing and have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as safe and effective. Unlike manufacturers of brand name drugs, the companies that make generic drugs don’t spend a lot of money on research and advertising. As a result, their generic drugs cost less than the original brand name counterparts, and they can pass the savings on to you. 

What is our Mail Order prescription drug program and how do I use it? 
The District Council 21 Mail Order prescription Drug Program provides you with the convenience of receiving prescription maintenance medication right at your home through the Orchard mail order pharmacy. The purpose of the program is to offer maintenance drugs used for chronic ailments such as high blood pressure, heart conditions, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, etc. If you are taking medications frequently and for a long period of time, a three month supply can be delivered to your home for less out of pocket expense to you than there would be at your local pharmacy. You’ll eliminate those endless trips to your local pharmacy, and standard delivery of your prescription drugs is free.   When your doctor prescribes chronic or maintenance drug therapies, simply ask him to prescribe a ninety (90) day supply, plus three (3) refills. Maintenance drugs are recognized for the treatment of chronic or long term conditions such as, cardiac disease, hypertension, diabetes, lung disease and arthritis. Mail order is an excellent way to receive prescriptions you will be taking for a long time with no worries about weather or availability of supply at the local pharmacy. For individuals who are taking maintenance medications, you may want to consider utilizing the mail order service for the convenience of home or office delivery.

Please refer to Orchard Pharmaceutical Services website for instructions on how to use the Orchard Mail Order Pharmacy.  If you have existing prescriptions with your current mail order vendor, you will not need to obtain new mail order prescriptions as your current mail order prescriptions will continue until the expiration date of the original prescription.

**Please note you will be required to register with Orchard prior to any prescriptions being mailed to you.**

You must REGISTER your information with Orchard Mail Order Pharmacy before mailing in a new prescription or obtaining a refill for an existing prescription.  You may use any of the following 3 easy registration options:
Online: (Recommended method) Visit www.orchardrx.com or Click here to register. Your account will activate within 24 hours.  By registering online, members can also track the progress of their orders.
Phone: Call Orchard Pharmaceutical Services Customer Service at 1-866-909-5170 to speak with a representative.
Mail: Complete the Registration and Prescription Order Form enclosed in this packet.
Once registered, your physician can fax your prescription(s) to Orchard at 1-866-909-5171.  Please be sure that your prescriber includes your date of birth and contact information on the fax.  Only faxes sent from a physician’s office will be valid.

What is Step Therapy? 
Step Therapy is a program designed especially for people who take prescription drugs regularly to treat ongoing medical conditions, such as arthritis and high blood pressure. The program is a new approach to getting you the prescription drugs you need, with safety, cost and most importantly, your health in mind. The program makes prescription drugs more affordable for most members and helps District Council 21 control the rising cost of medications. It allows you and your family to receive the affordable treatment you need and helps District Council 21 continue to provide you with prescription drug coverage. 

In Step Therapy, drugs are grouped in categories;
Front line drugs - the first step? are generic drugs proven safe, effective and affordable. These drugs should be tried first because they can provide the same health benefit as more expensive drugs at a lower cost. 

Back up drugs – the second step – are brand name drugs such as those you see advertised on TV. There are lower cost brand drugs (Step 2) and higher cost brand drugs (Step 3). Back up drugs always cost more. 

Step Therapy is developed under the guidance and direction of independent doctors, pharmacists and other medical experts. Together with our Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) this professional panel reviews the most current research on thousands of drugs that have been clinically tested and approved y the FDA for safety and effectiveness. Then, these experts recommend appropriate prescription drugs for a Step Therapy program. For more information on how Step Therapy works and how it benefits you, watch this short video: http://www.express?scripts.com//members/steptherapy

What should I do if I have a change of address or phone number? 
Any time you have a change in your contact information you should get in touch with the Fund Office. The Fund Office will ensure the change is made and that all other entities involved are notified (Medical Providers, Pension, District Council 21, Training Center etc.). 

Interested in a career with DC21? 
CLICK HERE to learn more about DC21’s Apprenticeship Opportunities and their training provider, the FTI.
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2980 Southampton Road Philadelphia, PA 19154 Tel. 215-677-7980 Fax 215-677-3877