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Published: February, 2019; Vol 15, Num 9

 

New Outreach Effort to LIUNA’s Health and Welfare Fund Administrators

The LHSFNA is proud to be one of several partners in the ongoing effort to provide comprehensive and competitive benefits to LIUNA members and their families. The Fund meets this aspect of its mission by providing support and assistance to the trustees, administrators and other professionals responsible for leading LIUNA’s health and welfare funds. The administration of LIUNA’s health and welfare funds can involve several complex and challenging issues.

The LHSFNA maintains contact with these groups and periodically verifies the information on file for each LIUNA health and welfare fund. This information includes fund-specific information and services such as summary plan descriptions (SPDs) and whether the fund offers a member assistance program (MAP).

This information is considered confidential and is not shared outside the LHSFNA without the consent of the health and welfare fund. LHSFNA staff use the information gathered in these surveys to track trends, identify best practices and ensure we are meeting the needs of all LIUNA health and welfare funds.

The LHSFNA recently updated its Guidance, Tips and Checklists for New Health & Welfare Fund Trustees booklet. This document includes information on understanding health and welfare fund operations, effective trusteeship and decision making as well as fiduciary responsibilities under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). For a copy of this guide, contact the Fund’s Health Promotion Division.

After the most recent verification process in the spring and summer of 2018, the LHSFNA broadened its outreach and collaboration efforts with the recent implementation of the LIUNA Health and Welfare Fund Administrators’ Forum. These quarterly conference calls provide an opportunity for LIUNA health and welfare funds to share best practices as well as new initiatives and policies related to multi-employer health and welfare funds. In addition, the quarterly calls are an opportunity to increase communication and open dialogue between Fund administrators or their designees and the LHSFNA. While LHSFNA staff members coordinate and moderate the call, the goal is for health and welfare fund participants to lead the discussion and share their subject matter expertise with the group.

The first LIUNA Health and Welfare Fund Administrators’ Forum was held in November of 2018 and included the following agenda:

  • Blockchain technology & healthcare
  • Chronic pain treatment modalities
  • Patient advocacy services
  • Causes of member death, particularly opioid-related deaths
  • Fiduciary insurance & LIUNA health and welfare fund trustees
  • Free templates developed by the LHSFNA (e.g., article/newsletter templates, Request for Proposal (RFP) templates, hard hat sticker templates)

The LHSFNA coordinates all call-related logistics, including setting up conference call lines, soliciting agenda requests from fund administrators and managing the call itself. Solicitation for agenda items is emailed to fund administrators one month before each call and a final agenda is emailed two weeks prior to each call.

A summary of each call will be sent to fund administrators, other call participants and LIUNA leadership. Quarterly forums are set to take place in November, February, May and August, usually on the last Thursday of the month. Each forum is scheduled from 2-3 p.m. Eastern.

Please direct any suggestions, questions or concerns regarding these quarterly forums to Matthew Brown, LHSFNA Health and Welfare Specialist, at 202-628-5465 or via email at mbrown@lhsfna.org.

[Matthew Brown is the LHSFNA’s Health and Welfare Specialist.]