Medical Reimbursement Account Benefit & Updating Your Designated Beneficiaries

Medical Reimbursement Account Benefit

As you should be aware, if you are a participant (“Participant”) in the I.B.E.W. Local 25 Health and Benefit Fund (the “H&B Fund”), your employer may (depending on the terms of your collective bargaining agreement) be required to make contributions on your behalf to a Medical Reimbursement Account (“MRA”).  The MRA can be used for reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses incurred during the period of November 1 last year through October 31 of this year.  (Any expenses incurred after October 31, 2016 would be submitted for reimbursement next year.)

Early next month, Participants with MRA balances will receive a letter from the H&B Fund enclosing a Medical Reimbursement Account Form (the “Form”).  The Form will indicated the amount in the Participant’s MRA and provide information on how to file a claim.  Reimbursable expenses include, but are not limited to, deductibles and co-pays for medical, dental, vision and hearing services and prescriptions.  (Please note that a Participant’s MRA can also be used to pay for COBRA Coverage, Continuation Coverage or Retiree Coverage.)

Any requests for payment of expenses in excess of $25.00 must have a paid receipt.  Receipts must include the Participant’s (or beneficiary’s) name, the provider’s name, the date of service, amount charged, amount paid, date paid and the name of the entity (MagnaCare, DDS, etc.) that made the payment. For prescription drug co-pays, Participants can obtain a print-out from the Express Scripts website (, their retail pharmacy or both (as appropriate).  Please send the print-out instead of individual prescription receipts.  Once the necessary documentation has been obtained, the signed Form and receipts must be returned to the Fund Office.  The Form must be signed by the Participant.  It cannot be signed by a spouse or other beneficiary.  All Forms must be postmarked by December 31, 2017 to be processed.  Failure to mail a Form by that date will result in a non-payment of a Participant’s claim; it will not cause him or her to lose the balance of his or her MRA.

Updating Your Designated Beneficiaries

A Participant in the H&B Fund, the I.B.E.W. 401(k) Fund (the “401(k) Fund”) and the Annuity Fund of the Electrical Industry of Long Island (the “Annuity Fund”) is able to designate a beneficiary or beneficiaries to receive benefits upon the Participant’s death.  (The H&B Fund provides a cash benefit.  For the other two Funds, the benefit is the balance of the Participant’s account.)  If a 401(k) Fund or Annuity Fund Participant is married, his/her spouse is automatically designated as beneficiary unless the spouse signs a notarized form consenting to the designation of a different beneficiary.  An H&B Fund Participant can designate anyone as his/her beneficiary.  Designation of Beneficiary Forms can be obtained from the Fund Office.

Beneficiary designations are not automatically changed if there is a change in circumstances (for example, the death of a designated beneficiary or a Participant’s divorce), even if the Fund Office is notified of the change.  The only way to change a beneficiary is to complete a new Designation of Beneficiary form.  If a new form is not submitted to the Fund Office, benefits will be paid in accordance with the Designation of Beneficiary form on file with the Fund Office, even if a Participant intended (or agreed in a separate written agreement) to name a different beneficiary or did not want benefits to be paid to the individual designated as a beneficiary (a now-former spouse, for example) on the previously submitted form.  Accordingly, make sure to file new Designation of Beneficiary forms when appropriate to do so.

If you have any questions about your MRA, beneficiary designation issues or any other matters concerning your benefits, please visit or call the Fund Office at (631) 434-3344 during our hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Owen M. Rumelt Paul Heinzel
Fund Manager Assistant Fund Manager