By the time this issue is printed, members covered by the 802 Health Benefits Plan should have received a welcome stream of checks and payment notices for HBP claims.
Claims processing slowed to a crawl this summer when Union Labor Life Insurance Company moved its offices from New York City to King of Prussia, Pa. The dislocation caused by the move and the need to train new staff resulted in two- and three-month delays in their payment of claims Ð and members began to feel the heat from providers concerned about long overdue bills.
The problems affected not only the “fee for service” part of the plan (in which the Health Benefits Plan pays 80 percent of the cost, with the member picking up the remaining 20 percent) but MagnaCare coverage as well, because all HBP claims are handled through ULLICO.
Local 802 worked closely with ULLICO to resolve the problems, said Plan Administrator Dan Jaffe.
“For one thing, we encouraged them to hire the staff member who had been responsible for our claims in the New York office, as a consultant. She spent a lot of time in Pennsylvania helping to train the new staff, and the situation improved quickly.”
As this issue went to press, ULLICO had completed processing all overdue claims and the HBP staff at Local 802 were working feverishly to get the checks in the mail.
Jaffe points out that, until the ULLICO staff are fully trained, there may be some errors in how claims are handled. “If members think this has happened, I hope they will bring it to our attention,” he said. “Also, if you have overdue claims that have not been cleared up by the time this issue of Allegro arrives in the mail, please let us know so we can check to be sure they haven’t fallen through the cracks.”
Jaffe expressed his thanks to 802 members for their patience while the situation was resolved. “ULLICO is aware that some mismanagement occurred during the move and they deeply regret the problems,” he said. “Their perspective is that, once they get up to speed in the new facility, their operations will be more efficient and streamlined than in the past. We have a long history with ULLICO, going back at least 30 years, and they have always been very sensitive to the needs of our members.”