Benefits News
City Workers Now Entitled to Four Hours of Excused Leave
for Prostate and Breast Cancer Screenings

City of New York employees now are entitled to excused leave to undertake a screening for breast or prostate cancerEffective July 21, 2016, City employees can take an excused absence for prostate cancer screenings under Chapter 96 of the Laws of 2016. Effective September 25, 2016, City employees are entitled to an excused absence for breast cancer screenings according to Chapter 74 of the Laws of 2016. These provisions permit employees to take a paid leave of absence for a sufficient period of time, not to exceed four hours, on an annual basis to undertake either of these screenings. The entire period of leave is excused leave, not to be charged against any other leave that the employee is entitled to receive. 

9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Update

The James Zadroga 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and subsequent Reauthorization Act were enacted to provide a mechanism to compensate those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, or those involved with the rescue and clean-up efforts that occurred from that date until May of the following year. According to the new rules, the deadline to register for claims related to traumatic injuries, cancers, or pulmonary disease under the VCF is no later than December 18, 2020 as long as the verification that the illness was related to 9/11 occurred after October 4, 2011.  For particular types of illnesses and/or 911 related deaths, there may be earlier deadlines.
Eligible claimants, as defined by the Act, are limited to individuals present at a 9/11 crash site  at the time of or in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes and who suffered physical harm as a direct result of the crashes or the rescue and recovery efforts or debris removal; personal representatives of deceased individuals on board American Airlines flights 11 and 77 or United Airlines flights 93 and 175; and personal representatives of individuals who were present at a 9/11 crash site at the time of, or in the immediate aftermath of, the crashes and who died as a direct result of the attacks or the debris removal.

A claimant can file a claim online through a form on the VCF website at and follow the instructions in the VCF Claim Form Checklist. Attorneys at Mirkin & Gordon, through the Union’s legal services program, are available to assist CWA 1180 members who feel they might have a valid claim. 
Change to Your General Medical Benefit

IRS Memorandum No. 201547006 requires that the CWA Local 1180 Security Benefits Fund (“SBF”) change the General Medical Benefit.

Therefore, effective immediately, the SBF cannot reimburse 2015 expenses for health coverage premiums that are paid using pre-tax funds, such as medical spending accounts. These deductions are identified on your W-2 Wage & Tax Statement as an amount alongside the code IRC125 and include pre-tax withholding amounts applied by your employer on your behalf to pay for health coverage premiums.

However, co-payments and deductible out-of-pocket expenses will continue to be reimbursed to you and your eligible dependents up to the $150 maximum annual allowable family benefit.

We understand that this is a significant and unwelcome change. It is, however, necessary to comply with the IRS ruling and to protect the tax treatment of other SBF benefits.

New Prescription Drug Plan Provider


As of January 1, 2016, we will have a new prescription drug plan provider.
American Health Care will replace Envision Rx Options as of this date. You will be receiving an announcement in the mail shortly as well as a new prescription drug card in the coming weeks in a separate mailing.

Please be on the lookout for these very important mailings. If you have not received your new drug card by December 28, 2015, please contact American health care at 1-800-872-8276, or call CWA1180 at 212-966-5353.

Please destroy your Envision Rx options prescription card after January 1, 2016, and make sure to inform your pharmacists of your new plan provider.
The CWA 1180 Benefits Funds

For Active Benefits Fund Letter
For Retiree Benefits Fund Letter
Nov 20,2015

May 22, 2014

Two new specialty drugs, Sovaldi and Olysio, have recently come to market in pill form that are claimed to be effective against Hepatitis C.  Sovaldi costs one thousand dollars a pill, and must be taken daily, typically over a twelve week period at a cost of $84,000.00 a patient.  Olysio is also extremely expensive and may be prescribed to be taken in combination with Sovaldi.

The  cost of these drugs, if continued, now appear poised to drive the Security Benefits Fund into insolvency, thereby leaving no money to provide prescription drugs or other benefits for any participants or their families.  Therefore, in order to preserve the benefits for all members of the Security Benefits Fund, the Trustees determined the following:

1)      Commencing  August 1, 2014, Sovaldi and Olysio will not be covered drugs under the CWA Local 1180 Security Benefits Fund’s plan of benefits.

2)      Participants who have been prescribed and approved for Sovaldi and/or Olysio prior to August 1, 2014 will be “grandfathered” and permitted to complete the course of treatment with Sovaldi and/or Olysio, up to a total of 84 days. Participants who are first prescribed Solvadi or Olysio on or after August 1, 2014 will be denied coverage by the Fund.

 Participants for whom Sovaldi and Olysio are prescribed and denied coverage by the Fund may contact the Patient Assistance Program. The contact person is:

Grayson Frank, CPhT
Certified Pharmacy Technician
Orchard Specialty
(330) 491-4280, e-mail:  
Fax: 877-309-0687

This program will help those referred to apply for financial help from the drugs’ manufacturer and facilitate the acquisition of Sovaldi and/or Olysio.  

Please refer to our web site to consult the listing of our drug formulary.  It will reflect all the prescription drugs that are covered. No new drug that arrives on the market, whether a specialty drug or not, will be covered by the Local 1180 Security Benefits Fund unless and until it is approved for coverage by the Trustees.

Very truly yours,
Dwight R. Kearns
Fund Administrator

Benefits News

Major restructuring of the CWA Local 1180
Security Benefits Fund’s plan of benefits to conform with the
Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act
Beginning January 1, 2014

The Trustees of the CWA Local 1180 Security Benefits Fund (“SBF”) announce a major restructuring of the Plan of benefits as of January 1, 2014 that will provide significant new benefits to you and your family. The changes were made so that the Plan complies with the Federal Affordable Care Act requirements. Read More......


Benefits News
IMPORTANT NOTICE ON                

Since the Audit process began, numerous problems have resulted, one problem being that individuals have never received a form due to multiple people having the same name. The second situation occurs when the initial City mail is sent back to the City because it was undeliverable (i.e. person does not live at the noted address). There are at least 2,400 cases citywide of this occurring as of now.

Our agreement with the City provides that no one will be dropped until after the appeal process has been resolved:



Documentation requirements

COPIES of Tax returns are optional. But you may choose to use them after blocking out income information. COPIES of Marriage and birth certificates including those from foreign government agencies are acceptable. COPIES of Passports, Utility bills and other documents listed on the form remain acceptable.
If you do not have documentation, you may submit an affidavit explaining why the dependent is eligible but the city can challenge the affidavit and you must appeal within 30 days. The dependent remains eligible until the appeals process is completed.

Please remember:
1. If you need a form or there are any problems, you should call the City's consultant AON at (855) 596-7454.

2. Members and retirees over 80 years old need not file.


The Health Insurance Dependent Verification Audit, ("Audit"), the City sent out to
employees and retirees was challenged by the Municipal Labor Committee, ("MLC"), because the City failed to negotiate with the MLC over certain mandatory subjects of collective bargaining. The MLC obtained a Temporary Restraining Order from the New York Supreme Court against the City prohibiting further implementation of the Audit. Thereafter the City and the MLC met and an Agreement was achieved to permit the Audit to continue under the following conditions:

I . The deadline to provide proof of eligibility of dependents must be submitted by
October 4, 2013. This was extended from September 20, 2013.

2. If an employee or retiree self report dependents who must be removed by October 4, 2013 that employee or retiree will not be subject to:
    A)  Recoupment of monies from premiums or claims incorrectly paid; or
    B)  Disciplinary charges.

3. If an employee or retiree submits proof of dependent eligibility by the October 4, 2013 deadline and their dependent's eligibility is denied there is a three step appeal process that ends with an expedited arbitration. During the appeal process no dependent will lose coverage. If after the appeal process, a dependent is ultimately deemed ineligible the City has indicated that it would not seek recoupment when there was reasonable disagreement or a misunderstanding(s) to eligibility.

4. Further the confidentiality and privacy of the proof that is submitted is protected in that once the proof is accepted it will be destroyed and the City's consultant will verify the destruction of the submitted proof. If there is any breach of confidentiality or privacy the MLC, the individual or his/her employee representative will have a right to file a lawsuit against the City's consultant or its subcontractors that will be receiving the submitted proof.

5. In addition the City will support legislation that will ensure no criminal charges will be
brought against any employee/retiree if that employee/retiree self reports dependents who must be removed by October 4, 2013.

In Unity,

Arthur Cheliotes, President

About Your Benefits

Welcome to Benefits

The CWA Local 1180 Security Benefits, Education Benefits, Legal Benefits and Member’s Annuity Benefits Funds are separate trusts maintained for the purpose of providing covered members with supplemental health, education benefits, legal services benefits and annuity benefits. The supplemental health benefits provided by the Security Benefits Fund are intended to augment basic health insurance and hospitalization benefits administered by employers.

The Funds are separately administered by Boards of Trustees.

The benefits provided by these Funds are the result of collective bargaining agreements between the City of New York and related public employers, the Board of Education of the City of New York, the State of New York and the Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO on behalf of its Local 1180. These collective bargaining agreements provide for annual contributions to the Funds on behalf of each employee in a covered title in accordance with the applicable collective bargaining agreement.

The benefits provided by the Funds are made possible by the Funds’ assets which are derived from employer contributions. All of the Funds’ assets are used to provide your benefits and to defray reasonable administrative expenses   On behalf of the trustees and staff of the CWA Local 1180 Security Benefits Fund. We are pleased to provide you with this updated Summary Plan Description that describes all the benefits provided to you through the Communications Workers of America, Local 1180 Security Benefits Fund, Legal Benefits Fund, Education Fund, and Members’ Annuity Fund.

To the extent that this hand booklet describes an insured benefit (e.g., life insurance/accidental death and dismemberment), the group insurance contract specifies the exact benefits provided and the language of the insurance contract will govern in the event of any inconsistency between it and the language of this Summary Plan Description.

Every effort has been made to present this information in clear, straightforward language. Please read this Summary Plan Description carefully. If you have any questions about your benefits, the Fund Office will be pleased to answer them.

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This website offers you access to your secure personal information where you can maximize the value of your pharmacy benefits.  As a member you have access to:

  • Medication history
  • Pharmacy locator
  • Read detailed drug information
  • View benefit and co-pay information
  • Keep track of medication and health contacts.
  • Mail Order Services
Dental Questions
Call Daniel Cook Associates at 212-505-5050.
Have a question?
Have a question or a request for the benefits fund? Get a fast response by emailing 
Member Enrollment Kit Request
To expedite processing of your enrollment please complete form and return to the Fund Office.
Enrollment Form
Health and Wellness Announcements
Health & Wellness Message For the Month of September
Dental/Optical Providers
Dental Providers

Optical Providers