8.5% and You

Before we jump into this month’s newsletter, we need to ask you a very important question:

Did you have fun?

Yes. We’re serious. During the past 744 hours that comprised the first 8.5% of this calendar year, did you have any fun?

By chance, did you allocate any of those 44,640 minutes to areas in which you want to grow as an individual, to learn new things or to try to earnestly get healthier?

Better yet, did you spend any of those 2,678,400 seconds challenging yourself to better understand the position, opinions, and thoughts of those that may have a different perspective than you?

“Isn’t it Time?”

Time is a funny thing.

What Happened in January

As it relates to the Benefit Funds, several things.

Summary of Material Modifications (SMM) were issued to the participants of the Defined Contribution Plan and the Lake County Indiana, NECA – IBEW Health and Benefit Plan. Please make sure that you read them carefully and to keep them along with your Summary Plan Description books and other important documents.

Statement of Grandfathered Status

The Board of Trustees believe that this Plan is a “grandfathered health plan” under the Affordable Care Act, which permits us to preserve certain basic health coverage already in effect before the law was passed. As with all grandfathered health plans, our Plan does not have to include certain consumer protections of the Affordable Care Act that apply to other plans (for example, providing preventive health services without any cost sharing). However, grandfathered health plans, like our Plan, must comply with other consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act (for example, the extension of coverage for dependent children to age 26). Contact the Fund Office if you have questions about what it means.


If you are reading this - Congratulations! You made it another year. What a privilege that is. Remember, some people, actually a lot of people, were not so fortunate in that regard. So do not take your existence and your time here for granted and make this the best year ever.

“C’est Reparti”

It is at this time of the year – the beginning - where we pop our head up, ala Punxsutawney Phill style, to try and determine how long “it” will continue.

Unfortunately, the shadow of obliviousness was seen. And we all know what that means. (Sigh)

The 3-M’s

Since its inception, the Benefit Funds have repeatedly used the newsletter to discuss, point out, educate, and update members of the “goings-on’s” within the various Benefit Funds.


Each of the five (5) notices directly below contain important information on matters that you need to be aware of and/or that may affect you. Please read them carefully.

Notice #1

Effective April 1, 2024, the expense for early retiree coverage and/or retiree disability coverage under the Health and Benefit Plan will increase by $100.00 a month.


HRA – Reminder.

Do not utilize your HRA debit card at the time of service unless:

You are 100% sure that the amount you are being charged is the balance that is owed AFTER any deductible or network discounts have been applied.
You are 100% sure that the provider will submit a claim into the Plan so that it can be adjudicated, and an explanation of benefits can be issued in enough time so as to timely substantiate the use of your debit card purchase or payment.


We hope this newsletter finds you positive but testing negative.

The holidays are fast approaching and naturally your focus turns to being good to others. This season and throughout the new year, remember to not only be good to others, but better to yourself.

Wishing you and yours a healthy and happy holiday and a prosperous 2024.