The Health and Benefit Fund is currently undergoing a “deep dive” into its records to make sure it has all the supporting documentation necessary to properly administrate the Fund. Unfortunately, and for the reasons that many of you were enrolled into the program when the regulatory world was less……, well…, regulatory, the Plan is missing certain and needed documentation.
So many of you will be receiving a letter in the next few months requesting certain documentation needed to complete our records. Now you may be asking yourself, why you were not notified of this missing documentation previously?
Well, in order not to overtly disrupt the lives of the participants, it was determined to request this information whenever a participant regained eligibility after a period of non-coverage or at the time of retirement, whichever came first. While slow and incremental, it was nevertheless a clean, systematic, fair, and a good process.
Until it was not.
One rotten apple………
Now I could write about the participant who lost coverage, subsequently earned enough hours, but nevertheless did not meet the criteria of being eligible to receive benefits, and who refused for three months to provide copies of two innocuous and easily accessible pieces of required documentation,……. but I won’t.
Suffice it to say I used to operate under the general belief that people were good and people were reasonable. That was optimistic enough to qualify as naïve. But now, I’d like the Funds to get to a place where the effects of bad people are mitigated so that people like you and I can continue to enjoy and build upon the Benefits that we currently have. To that end, the Fund will scrape the older approach mentioned previously and will be issuing letters to the individuals detailing specifically the documentation that is missing and needed to properly operate the Fund in the twenty-first century.
We understand that this may appear as an inconvenience to some, however, at the time of retirement it will speed up and simplify that application process.