Teamsters Western Region & Local 177 | FAQs

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Why did I receive a personalized letter from express scripts saying my drug would no longer be covered?

A national panel of physicians and pharmacists continually reviews and compares prescription drugs to ensure your drug list includes proven medications to treat every condition. Some drugs may no longer be included when other safe and effective alternatives are available. If you received this letter, talk with your doctor about your 2014 drug list change. To avoid paying the full retail price of your current medication after June 1st, get a new prescription for a safe, effective, covered alternative. List of alternatives,

2015 List / 2016 List / 2017 List / 2018 List / 2019 List


Why did my health insurance change?

During the negotiations for the master contract between the Teamsters Union and UPS, the company made it clear that it wanted out of the health care business.  If UPS Teamsters wanted to maintain the benefits in the UPS Company Health Care Plan, the company was demanding premium sharing and large deductibles.  Your negotiating team came up with a way to keep the same level of benefits without instituting premiums and large deductibles by transferring the administration of health care benefits away from UPS.  Members in the eleven western states and New Jersey opted to establish their own health benefit plan, the Teamsters Western Region and Local 177 Health Care Plan.  UPS Teamsters from other areas of the country opted to transfer to TeamCare.  When the transfer is complete, the UPS Company Health Care Plan will no longer serve UPS Teamsters.


How long has Teamsters Western Region and Local 177 Health Care Fund been in existence?

The Plan was established following the June 2013 ratification of IBT-UPS master contract.


Who does it serve?

About 40,000 UPS Teamsters (plus family members) in 11 western states and NJ Local 177.


Who directs the Plan?

A board comprised equally of Teamsters and company trustees directs the Plan.  The Plan is administered by Southwest Service Administrators, an independent third-party health benefits plan administrator selected by Teamsters Western Region and Local 177 Health Care Plan trustees to manage your health care benefits. It specializes in labor-management fund administration and has worked with Teamster funds and other unions’ funds since 1995.  Southwest Service Administrators has offices in Phoenix and Albuquerque.


Where can I find a list of my health care benefits?

This website is the best source of information on your benefits. Here you'll find medical, prescription drug, dental, vision, life and disability insurance information, including benefit updates provided by Summaries of Material Modifications.


How will I get my ID cards and do I need to enroll my family?

You do not need to worry about re-enrolling.  UPS is working closely with the administrators of the Teamsters Western Region and Local 177 Health Care Fund to ensure a smooth transfer and no interruption of service.  You’ll receive a few important mailings from the new Plan asking you to verify and confirm information on your network selection and dependents so that your new benefits will take effect without any bumps in the road.


Who will handle my calls and emails when I have a question or concern about a medical claim?

Call Blue Cross, Aetna, or Kaiser depending on what network you participate in, as noted on your ID card.


What are the Plan’s deductibles?

For participants in the Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield networks, the original plan ratified as part of the national master agreement included a small deductible of $100 for single and $200 for family, rising in each year of the contract.  

After ratification, negotiating team members raised concerns over the deductible issue.  Trustees found a way to improve on the deductibles.  As a result, there will be no deductible for the first four years of the contract.  Only in the fifth year does a small, one-time annual deductible go into effect.


What Copayments will I be responsible for?

For participants in the Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield networks, the copayments for medical office visits, routine physicals, well child care, routine mammograms, routine OB/GYN are for the most part the same under the new plan as you paid under the UPS Company Health Care Plan. 


How does the Prescription Benefit work?

For prescription benefits, Western Region and 177 uses the Medco/Express Scripts network – the very same network used by the UPS Company Plan.  Express Scripts gives you access to nearly every national and regional pharmacy chain as well as thousands of independent pharmacies throughout the country. 


Those who use Medco’s mail order program to order 90 day supplies of maintenance drugs, will continue to do so with the new plan.  The copayments paid for prescriptions in the new plan are minimal:  $5 for prescriptions filled a retail pharmacy.  $0 (zero!) for those filled by mail order. 


What are the major difference in the Teamsters Western Region and Local 177 Health Care Plan the UPS Company Plan?

While your benefits remain mostly identical to those enjoyed under the UPS Company Plan, the Teamsters Western Region and Local 177 Health Care Fund offers three improvements over the UPS Company Plan:  1) lower emergency room copayment; 2) the Five Year Family Protection Plan; and 3) lower out-of-pocket cap for families ($2,000 per family vs. $1,000 per person under UPS Plan).


I’m already retired.  What changes should I expect in my health care?

Your retiree health benefits do not change at all.