On January 1, 2015, a major change in Local 79 healthcare eligibility rules will go into effect. Members have received or will soon receive a letter from the Funds describing the change, which will enlarge the pool of Local 79 members who are eligible for healthcare benefits and significantly increase the length of their coverage. At the same time, the change ushers in a in-depth examination of Local 79’s healthcare plan, which will attempt to align Local 79’s plan with national efforts to focus on preventive care and reduction of overall healthcare costs.
The significant increase in member healthcare benefits was the result of the good thinking, fiscal responsibility, and hard work of LiUNA Vice-President and Eastern Regional Manager Ray Pocino, Mason Tenders’ District Council Business Manager Bobby Bonanza, Local 79 Business Manager Mike Prohaska, Local 78 Business Manager Edison Severino and all the management-side Trustees. “I am incredibly grateful to all my fellow Trustees for helping shape this expansion in benefits for our members,” said Local 79 Business Manager Mike Prohaska. “This is a gigantic step forward. Many more members will have year-round healthcare benefits. An added benefit is that it will prevent eligible members from losing coverage during the calendar year and then having to purchase a plan on the healthcare exchanges or pay a penalty, as per the Affordable Care Act, for not doing so.”