IUEC COVID-19 Resources

HIPPA & COVID questions

August 17, 2020

Brothers and Sisters

As a follow up to many questions regarding a members responsibility to disclose a positive COVID test, symptom or traveling to or from a “hot spot” and returning to the local area and if an employer or Local Union has the right to ask questions regarding the same information. There are at minimum, 3 resources to review. The CDC Guidelines, State Guidelines and local guidelines along with EEOC and HHS.

HIPPA  Privacy Rules are in effect if a Local, an employer or another member contacts a members health provider. Information should not be given out by that health provider without the permission of their patient. Generally, the employer may ask current employees for information about their health that is specifically tailored to COVID-19. These questions may include information regarding exposure and traveling to “hot spots.” Employers may also implement safety protocols.  They might require current employees to fill out a safety questionnaire; they might include taking temperatures at the start of the day. Both are permissible.

General contractors/clients/project managers may have their own requirements and protocols, which may be binding on signatory employers at a specific jobsite.  In some instances, this might include requiring a waiver to be signed by a member who needs to access the job.   Although the enforceability of these waivers is not clear, it is generally the right of a project owner to set the terms by which their property can be accessed.   In this way, a waiver form is much like drug testing or background checks – it might be made a requirement of a job and those who do not wish to agree to those terms may have to forego working on that job.

Local Unions typically try to learn as much information as they can from employers as well as employees so that they may protect the health and safety of their members as well as enforcing the CBA.  Members should report job site conditions involving COVID to their Local Unions and should not hesitate to contact the Local with questions or concerns.  Local Unions can also ask for information/develop safety protocols for their own employees as well as anyone attending a union event such as a meeting.

In all cases, our members should take both the threat and the preventing the spread of the Coronavirus as a serious matter.   Please do everything you can to keep yourself and your fellow members safe.  Wear appropriate PPE, including a mask, wash your hands frequently, and practice social distancing as much as reasonably possible on the job.   Do not go to a job site, office, or union hall if you are feeling ill, have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID, or you have tested positive yourself.   Engage in appropriate self-quarantining as necessary to prevent others from getting sick.   You may possibly be entitled to federally mandated sick leave if you are in a position of having to self-quarantine.

Incidental Uses and Disclosures _ HHS.gov

Notification of Enforcement Discretion for Business Associates and HIPAA

Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act _ U.S. Equal EEOC

Fraternally,

Mike Langer

IUEC Director of Safety

NEW! Emergency Coronavirus-Related (Phase 2 Period) Distributions

June 30, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In April 2020, the Elevator Constructors Annuity and 401(k) Retirement Plan introduced Emergency Coronavirus-Related Distributions.  Members adversely impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic can apply for and receive an Emergency Coronavirus-Related Distribution of as much as $25,000 provided they submit their applications to MassMutual by June 30, 2020. Last week, the Trustees of the Annuity 401(k) Plan agreed to extend this program by introducing Emergency Coronavirus-Related (Phase 2 Period) Distributions.  Specifically, Members adversely impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic can apply for and receive an Emergency Coronavirus-Related (Phase 2 Period) Distribution of as much as $25,000 if they submit an application to MassMutual between June 30, 2020 and September 30, 2020     

Attached are two applications, one application for an Emergency Coronavirus-Related Distribution (must be submitted to MassMutual by June 30, 2020) and another application for an Emergency Coronavirus-Related (Phase 2 Period) Distribution (must be submitted to MassMutual by September 30, 2020)These applications are available at the links below.

ECA 401k Plan Emergency Coronavirus-Related Distribution Application (Do not use after June 30, 2020)

ECA 401k Plan Emergency Coronavirus-Related Phase 2 Distribution Application

Highlights of the Emergency Coronavirus-Related Distribution or Emergency Coronavirus-Related (Phase 2 Period) Distribution:

General Eligibility

An Emergency Coronavirus-Related Distribution or Emergency Coronavirus-Related (Phase 2 Period) Distribution is available to any Member:

  • Who is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a test approved by the CDC.
  • Whose spouse or dependent is diagnosed with COVID-19 by such a test; or
  • Who experiences adverse financial consequences due to COVID-19 resulting from –
    • Being quarantined; being furloughed, laid off, or having work hours reduced
    • Being unable to work due to lack of childcare, or
    • A closing or reducing of hours of a business the Member owns or operates.
    • A reduction in pay (or self-employment income) due to COVID-19 or having a job offer rescinded or start date for a job delayed due to COVID-19;
    • The Member’s spouse or member of his or her household (i.e., someone who shares the Member’s principal residence):
      • being quarantined, furloughed or laid off, or having work hours reduced due to COVID-19,
      • being unable to work due to a lack of childcare due to COVID-19,
      • having a reduction in pay (or self-employment income) due to COVID-19, or
      • having a job offer rescinded or start date for a job delayed due to COVID-19, or
    • Closing or reducing hours of a business owned or operated by the Member’s spouse or a member of his or her household due to COVID-19.

The Annuity 401(k) Plan will rely on Members’ certifications that they satisfy these conditions.

The Timing of When You Submit Your Application Will Determine Whether You’re Eligible for an Emergency Coronavirus-Related Distribution or an Emergency Coronavirus-Related (Phase 2 Period) Distribution

  • A Member who submits an application to MassMutual by June 30, 2020, and who is otherwise eligible, will receive an Emergency Coronavirus-Related Distribution unless the Member has already received an Emergency Coronavirus-Related Distribution, in which case, the Member’s application will be treated as an application for an Emergency Coronavirus-Related (Phase 2 Period) Distribution. 
  • A Member who submits an application to MassMutual after June 30, 2020, and who is otherwise eligible, will receive an Emergency Coronavirus-Related (Phase 2 Period) Distribution regardless of whether the Member previously received an Emergency Coronavirus-Related Distribution.

Source Accounts for Emergency Coronavirus-Related Distributions or Emergency Coronavirus-Related (Phase 2 Period) Distributions.

The Annuity 401(k) Plan has special account source rules for Emergency Coronavirus-Related Distributions and Emergency Coronavirus-Related (Phase 2 Period) Distributions:

  • First, your Rollover Account (if you have established a Rollover Account).
  • Then, if you haven’t established a Rollover Account or your Rollover Account is less than $25,000, your 401(k) Account,
  • Then, if you haven’t established a 401(k) Account and/or Rollover Account, or if the total balance of your 401(k) Account and/or Rollover Account is less than $25,000, your Old Annuity Account (if you have an Old Annuity Account).
  • Finally, if you don’t have an Old Annuity Account or if the total balance of your 401(k) Account (if any), Rollover Account (if any) and Old Annuity Account is less than $25,000, your New Annuity Account.

Emergency Coronavirus-Related Distributions and Emergency Coronavirus-Related (Phase 2 Period) Distributions receive special federal income tax treatment:

  • They are not subject to the 10% tax penalty typically applicable to early distributions.
  • They are not eligible rollover distributions, meaning they are not subject to mandatory 20% income tax withholding. MassMutual will withhold 10% of these distributions as federal income tax withholding unless Participants elect otherwise.
  • They will be included as gross income for federal tax purposes over a 3-year period unless you elect otherwise.
  • They may be re-contributed, in whole or in part, in one or more payments, to the Annuity 401(k) Plan or another eligible retirement plan that accepts rollovers under which you participate, within three (3) years of receipt.

Fraternally,

Frank Christensen, General President

James Bender, Assistant General President

Larry McGann, General Secretary – Treasurer

Emergency Coronavirus-Related Distribution (Phase 2 Period) Application Form

Contaminated Hand Sanitizer

June 24, 2020

Brothers and Sisters,

The Elevator Industry Safety Partners has notified The IUEC of the following information:

Below is information regarding an FDA article about contaminated hand sanitizer.  The FDA found a company in Mexico that is using methanol (wood alcohol) in their hand sanitizer formulas.  As you know, methanol is poisonous and can be absorbed through the skin. Please forward this e-mail to your members.

FDA advises consumers not to use hand sanitizer products manufactured by Eskbiochem

2020-06-24 Hand Sanitizer From Mexico

Thank you and Work Safe.

Mike Langer

IUEC Director of Safety

Message from GST-McGann–URGENT: Congressional Outreach Call to Action

April 29, 2020

To :   All U.S. Locals

          Regional Directors

          Organizers

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I am asking for your support, please review the important information provided in the letter below from Michael Scott, Executive Director of the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans-NCCMP.  By our IUEC local leaders and members reaching out to Congress, this will reinforce the much-needed relief to the pension and health funds to be considered for future stimulus.  Please use the contact information and talking point links provided to contact your Congressman or Congresswoman who can influence the decision while this is in the discussion period.  Your voice and emails are needed during this crisis. 

**Please post this very important information on your local’s website so we can get this message out during this crucial time.

On behalf of your General Officers we appreciated your continued efforts to get the job done.

Fraternally,

Larry J. McGann

General Secretary-Treasurer

Congressional Talking Points for Multiemployer Pension and Health in COVID 4

Elevator Constructors 401(k)/Annuity Benefits Emergency Plan Coronavirus Related Distributions

April 10, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Attached is the application members must submit if they need to take advantage of the Elevator Constructors Annuity and 401 (k) Retirement Plan’s “Emergency Coronavirus-Related Distribution.” As set forth in the Application, the Application must be submitted to MassMutual. MassMutual is ready to begin processing these applications. The application is available at the link below. The application also will soon be available online at www.neibenefits.org.

ECA 401k Plan Emergency Coronavirus-Related Distribution Application

Here are the highlights of the Emergency Coronavirus-Related
Distribution:

An Emergency Coronavirus-Related Distribution is available to any Participant:
• Who is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a test approved by the CDC.
• Whose spouse or dependent is diagnosed with COVID-19 by such a test; or
• Who experiences adverse financial consequences due to COVID-19 resulting from –
• Being quarantined; being furloughed, laid off, or having work hours reduced
• Being unable to work due to lack of childcare, or
• A closing or reducing of hours of a business owned or operated by the participant.

The Plan will rely on Participants’ certifications that they satisfy these conditions.

The Plan has special account source rules for Emergency Coronavirus-Related Distributions:
• First, your Rollover Account (if you have established a Rollover Account).
• Then, if you haven’t established a Rollover Account or your Rollover Account is less than $25,000, your 401 (k) Account,
• Then, if you haven’t established a 401 (k) Account and/or Rollover Account, or if the total balance of your 401 (k) Account and/or Rollover Account is less than $25,000, your
Old Annuity Account (if you have an Old Annuity Account).
• Finally, if you don’t have an Old Annuity Account or if the total balance of your 401 (k) Account (if any), Rollover Account (if any) and Old Annuity Account is less than $25,000, your New Annuity Account.

Emergency Coronavirus-Related Distributions receive special federal income tax treatment:
• They are not subject to the 10% tax penalty typically applicable to early distributions.
• They are not eligible rollover distributions, meaning they are not subject to mandatory 20% income tax withholding. MassMutual will withhold 10% of these distributions as federal income tax
withholding unless Participants elect otherwise.
• They will be included as gross income for federal tax purposes over a 3-year period unless Participants elect otherwise.
• May be re-contributed, in whole or in part, in one or more payments, to this Plan or another eligible retirement plan that accepts rollovers under which you participate, within three (3) years of receipt.

Fraternally,

Frank Christensen, General President

James Bender, Assistant General President

Larry McGann, General Secretary – Treasurer

IUEC – Emergency Plan 401k Annuity letter

Take Charge of Coronavirus Anxiety

March 30, 2020

Brothers and Sisters,

If the COVID19 crisis is causing you and your family members stress, anxiety or hindering your daily life, please follow the link below to Beacon Health or call our MAP at 800-331-4824 24/7 for help.

https://www.achievesolutions.net/achievesolutions/en/nei/Content.do?contentId=51425

Fraternally,

IUEC Safety Committee

Covid-19 Pandemic: Diagnostic Testing for Covid-19, Telehealth Options (Virtual Office Visits), Benefits Office Operations

March 29, 2020

To: All Participants in the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan, I.U.E.C. Locals and Regional Directors

The Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan are treating the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health threat with the utmost urgency. They are prepared to respond as circumstances dictate to ensure that all affected individuals have access to the care they require.

With that in mind, this communication announces temporary improvements to your plan of benefits, details your telemedicine options, and outlines the Benefits Office’s efforts to ensure uninterrupted participant service during this difficult time.

100% Coverage for COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing.

Telehealth / Virtual Visits (Medical).

Telehealth / Virtual Visits (Mental Health & Substance Abuse Outpatient Therapy)

Benefits Office Operations during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Trustees are dedicated to maintaining a plan of benefits that meets the needs of participants, especially in times of possible crisis. Accordingly, we will continue to closely monitor this situation and will act accordingly in response to additional developments. In the meantime, we encourage all Participants to take all possible precautionary measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to protect themselves and their families. As always, if you have any questions regarding this notice, or the benefits offered by the Plan, please feel free to contact the Benefits Office.

Covid-19 Pandemic: Diagnostic Testing for Covid-19, Telehealth Options (Virtual Office Visits), Benefits Office Operations

The Board of Trustees

Special 14-Day Weekly Income Benefit: Quarantine on Account of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

The Trustees of the Health Plan have approved a temporary benefit for anyone who gets the COVID-19 virus or is quarantined because of the virus.  Attached is the Summary of Material Modifications for the benefit and the claim form to use for a member who is quarantined.

The regular Weekly Income Benefit for illness has a 7 day waiting period, but that waiting period is waived for the COVID-19 virus.  Both the SMM and claim form are also on the Benefits Office website.

Special 14-Day Weekly Income Benefit Quarantine on Account of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

NEI HBP COVID 19 Quarantine 14 day Weekly Benefit Form

NEI HBP COVID 19 Quarantine 14 day Weekly Benefit Form – Fillable Form