When you retire, you can continue your coverage by making self-payments for Retiree Benefits. You can continue this coverage for as long as you meet the eligibility requirements and make your self-payments on-time.
You also have the option to choose COBRA coverage instead of the Retiree Benefits plan. Under COBRA, you can make self-payments to continue Plan coverage for up to 18 months. However, if you elect COBRA coverage instead of the Retiree Benefits plan, you CANNOT get into the Retiree Benefits plan later. For specific information on COBRA coverage for retirees, please see the relevant section of the SPD.
To be eligible to make self-payments for Retiree Benefits coverage, you must meet the following requirements.
Early or Normal Retirees
- You must be at least age 55;
- You must be retired from any and all employment in the electrical industry or any organization affiliated with the electrical industry (does not apply to working as an electrical inspector or as an instructor in an apprenticeship program recognized by the IBEW or NECA);
- You must be able to provide proof of receiving retirement benefits from a plan negotiated or sponsored by the IBEW, from a qualified retirement plan sponsored by a contributing employer, or from Social Security;
- You must be eligible for LINECO benefits on the day immediately preceding the effective date of your LINECO Retiree Benefits;
You must have been eligible for coverage under LINECO due to work hours for 48 of the 60 months preceding the effective date of your LINECO Retiree Benefits. For the purpose of this requirement, "work hours" include hours worked for which your employer made contributions, disability hours credited to you by the Fund, and hours for which you made short-hours self-pays. The 48 coverage months do not have to be consecutive. In addition:
- No more than six (6) consecutive months immediately preceding the effective date of your LINECO Retiree Benefits can be on COBRA, and
- Out of the 48 coverage months, no more than twelve (12) can be due to COBRA self-payments, UNLESS you were eligible under LINECO for 96 of the 120 months immediately prior to the start of your LINECO Retiree Benefits.
You must be receiving disability retirement benefits either from an IBEW-sponsored plan, another qualified employer pension plan, or from Social Security, and you must have been eligible for coverage under LINECO on the day before the date your disability pension became effective.
- Early or Normal Retirees
You can choose between one of the following Retiree Benefits Options:
- Option 1 - Medical benefits only, which includes Routine Physical Exam Benefit, Diagnostic X-Ray and Lab Benefit, the Comprehensive Benefit, and the Behavioral Health Benefit, along with the same prescription drug benefits available under the active plan. Once you and/or your dependents are eligible for Medicare, that person's prescription drug coverage is provided under the special program for Medicare-eligible participants with a separate prescription out-of-pocket maximum $1,000, and the person's Comprehensive Benefit out-of-pocket limit is reduced to $1,625 per calendar year.
- Option 2 - Medical and prescription drug benefits (as stated in Option 1 above) plus the Dental Benefit and the Vision Care Benefit.
If you originally elect dental and vision coverage, you can later drop those coverages. However, the change will be permanent — if you drop dental and vision coverage you cannot re-elect it later on. Also, if you initially decline dental and vision coverage, you cannot add it later.
The benefit coverage provided under Option 1 or Option 2 is largely the same as the coverage that is provided to active eligible employees and their dependents. However, Retiree Benefits do not include Life Insurance, Weekly Income Benefits, or AD&D Insurance.
Monthly Costs (effective 03/01/2023 - 02/28/2025)
Medical Benefits Only
Medical, Dental, Vision
Both Employee and Spouse have Medicare $ 520.00 $ 560.00 One of them has Medicare $ 989.00 $1,035.00 Neither of them has Medicare $1,458.00 $1,510.00 Single with Medicare $ 260.00 $ 280.00 Single without Medicare $ 729.00 $ 755.00 Single with Medicare (covering at least 1 child) $ 391.00 $ 421.00 Single without Medicare (covering at least 1 child) $ 859.00 $ 885.00
Retiree Benefits and Medicare
LINECO coordinates its Retiree Benefits with Medicare. If you and/or your spouse are eligible to participate in Medicare, this Plan's benefits will be calculated as though benefits under Medicare Part A and Part B have been paid, whether or not you are actually enrolled in both Parts. To avoid being responsible for higher out-of-pocket costs, you and your spouse should enroll in both Medicare Part A and Part B when eligible to do so.
Participants for whom Medicare is their primary plan are automatically enrolled in the LINECO-sponsored Express Scripts Medicare® Prescription Drug Plan (PDP), an insured group Part D plan. Express Scripts will provide you with information concerning your co-pays, covered and non-covered drugs, and instructions for using the mail-order and specialty pharmacies. They will also handle customer service, prior authorizations and appeals.
Retiree Benefits and VA Benefits
A retired employee who is eligible for coverage through the Veterans Administration (VA) may suspend LINECO Retiree Benefits while maintaining LINECO Retiree Benefits for his/her spouse and eligible dependents. Proof of VA coverage must be submitted to the Fund Office. One retiree self-payment must be made to establish Retiree status. The retiree may be reinstated one time only on the Retiree Plan.
Benefits for Surviving Dependents
If your death occurs while you are making self-payments for Retiree Benefits for yourself and your dependents, your surviving spouse can continue to make self-payments for Retiree Benefits for herself and any dependent children. Surviving dependent children or a legal guardian may also be entitled to continue Retiree Benefits for a limited time.
Returning to Work
The Trustees recognize that some Retirees may need to return to work in the electrical construction industry for short calls, storm duty, or simply because life circumstances may require them to un-retire.
If LINECO receives (6) six consecutive months of work contributions of at least 125 hours, that retiree will automatically be transitioned back to “Active” status and will no longer be considered retired by LINECO.
In order to return to retirement status you must requalify for the retiree benefit. It is important that you contact the Fund office 3 months prior to your new retirement date.
IMPORTANT: Retiree Benefits NOT Guaranteed in the Future
The privilege of making self-payments by either you or your spouse to maintain eligibility for Retiree Benefits is not an "accrued benefit." The Trustees have the right to change, reduce or eliminate any and all aspects of benefits provided for retirees and their dependents, as well as the right to increase the retiree self-payment rate.