U.S. Steel Lake Erie Works
Weekly Indemnities / Sick Benefits
We are noticing lately that our members requesting forms for weekly indemnities are experiencing delays in getting their forms.
The company policy on how to receive the forms is:
Contact your department as soon as you become aware that you will require sick benefits.
Contact the Disability Manager (Dan Gifkins ext. 2865)
Contact the union hall after you have notified the company.
By contacting the hall, we can follow up with the Disability Manager to ensure that your forms are issued in a timely manner.
If you have any questions or require assistance with your claim please call.
March 17, 2017
Retiree Fund for Prescription Drugs, Emergency Dental and Medical
Effective April 1, 2017
As of 11:59 pm March 31, 2017 the Province will end its Transition Fund. All Prescriptions and Emergency Dental and Medical will go through the USSC Retiree Fund until such time as the money runs out or the Company exits from CCAA restructuring. The following documents will explain in detail the fund going forward starting April 1, 2017.
Form to be used for Reimbursement of Emergency Medical Benefits click here
Health Benefits Update Letter click here
Retiree Communications Letter click here
Out of Province Prescription Drug and Emergency Health Care Coverage
Criteria for Reimbursement of $100 of Health Care Claims for all Retirees
March 2, 2017
For Out of Province retirees submitting for reimbursement of prescription drugs or emergency heath care coverage, please try to submit prior to March 31, 2017.
To View the Communication Letter going out to Retirees Click Here
To View the Eligibility Criteria and Forms Click Here
Points to remember – the out of province retirees have to use the USO prefix instead of the TLC prefix for the prescription and emergency dental and other health benefits claims, and
The UST prefix for in province and out of province retirees for the $100.00 claim. If they try use the TLC prefix, the card won’t work.
The retirees should talk to their pharmacist - if their pharmacist has questions, they should contact GreenShield.
July 19, 2016
Transition Fund Update for Retirees
What’s new with the Transition Fund?
Availability of the Transition Fund after March 31, 2016
The Transition Fund has not yet run out, and funding for coverage is still available for prescription drug benefits, and dental and other health benefits. The fund will continue until it reaches the $3 million cap. Up to $2.5 million is available for prescription drug benefits coverage (Tranche 1) and up to $500,000 is available for emergency coverage for urgently required dental and other health benefits (Tranche 2). Once the Transition Fund is exhausted under either Tranche 1 or 2, no claims will be processed under that tranche.
Changes to prescription drug eligibility
As of March 14, 2016, the parameters of the fund were expanded and began providing coverage for repeat refills of 30-day prescription drugs.
Once you have claimed 30 days’ worth of prescriptions you will have to wait a period of time before processing your next refill. The next claim will be allowed when the beneficiary is 80 per cent of the way through their current prescription (e.g., day 24 of a 30-day claim). The 30-day repeat refills will continue until the fund runs out.
Claims for more than a 30-day supply will be rejected (e.g., if you claim for 90 days of prescriptions, the claim will be rejected. The pharmacy will have to resubmit for a 30-day supply and you will have to return once the wait period is done.)
Retroactive payments for 30-day repeat refills purchased before March 14, 2016 will not be issued.
The other provisions of the Transition Fund (e.g. the dental and other benefits) remain the same.
On September 16, 2014, US Steel Canada (USSC) filed for protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA)
As the result of the Court’s decision on October 9, 2015 regarding USSC’s cash conservation and business preservation plan, prescription drug and other health benefits (“OPEBS”) were suspended for eligible USSC retirees and their eligible spouses and dependents (“OPEB Beneficiaries”). Life insurance coverage was not suspended.
Following the Court decision, the Ontario government committed to establishing a $3 million Transition Fund to help support retirees and beneficiaries impacted by the suspension of their OPEBs. The Transition Fund is not a continuation of the USSC OPEBs but is meant to address urgent and critical health needs of affected retirees as they transition to other supports and programs available such as the Trillium Drug Program.
In December 2015, a Transition Fund letter was distributed to OPEB Beneficiaries, outlining how the Transition Fund would be used, and how to apply for coverage from the fund. The fund has been operational since January 1, 2016.
Further Information on the Transition Fund
The December 2015 Transition Fund letter, as well as details about the fund’s parameters and process for submitting claims are available through the websites of the representatives of the union and salaried retirees, and the Monitor, as follows:
· Ernst & Young - www.ey.com/ca/ussc
· USW Local 1005 – www.uswa1005.ca
· USW Local 8782 - www.uswa8782.com
· Koskie Minsky LLP – www.kmlaw.ca/cases/usscrepcounsel/
· Stel Salaried Pensioners Organization - www.stel-salaried-pensioners.org
If you do not have access to the internet, please refer to the following contacts provided for your convenience:
Non-USW Members: Koskie Minsky LLP at their toll-free phone number at 1-866-777-6341.
Tony McLaughlin Ron Wells
(905)547-1417 ext. 4 (905)547-1417 ext. 3
Terry Barnard Mark Talbot
519-587-2000 ext. 225 519-587-2000 ext. 301
Greenshield Canada call centre at their toll-free phone number at 1-888-711-1119.
March 14, 2016
Transition Fund Update
As of March 14, 2016, the Transition Fund will cover repeats of 30-days supplies of prescription drugs until March 31, 2017, or until the fund runs out.
This means that once you have claimed 30 days' worth of prescriptions you will have to wait a period of time before processing the next prescription. The next claim will be allowed when a plan member is 80 per cent of the way through their current claim (e.g., day 24 of a 30-day claim) and this will continue until March 31, 2017 or until the funds runs out.
Claims for more than a 30-day supply will be rejected. (E.g., if you claim for 90 days of prescriptions, the claim will be rejected. The pharmacy will have to resubmit for a 30-day supply and you will have to return once the wait period is done.)
The other provisions of the Transition Fund remain the same.
February 10, 2016
Transition Fund Update
As we are sure, everyone is aware by now that the Judge presiding over the CCAA restructuring granted the Company a request for a business preservation plan as the Canadian Operations transitions into a stand alone business. The order allowed the Company to suspend retiree benefits, suspend payments of past service for the pensions and to not have to pay their Municipal taxes. The Union put forth that there were other cash conservation measures that could have been taken within the operations before taking these drastic steps.
We were just informed that the government has not granted an extension for filling prescriptions 30 days at this time. The governments intent was only to provide one 30 day supply for each prescription from the fund. There is still a substantial amount of dollars remaining in the Transition fund, so we continue to ask that 30-day supplies of prescriptions be given each month for those that require them until the fund expires on March 31 or the fund money runs out.
Emergency hardship (Tranche 2) is still available on an individual basic. We can assist you at the Union Hall in the process or you can send it in directly to the monitor. Forms are available to print off on our website.
We understand your frustration in this difficult time and understand that you earned your benefits by deferring your wages. Our position is to have our Benefits reinstated at some time in the future. We anticipate that we will have more information next week.
February 2, 2016
Benefit Transition Fund
The prescription drug portion of the transition fund that was set up by the government and administered by Greenshield, was for there to be a one time 30 day maximum supply for a prescription. We have asked that this policy be reviewed with a view to provide for 30 days at a time for each prescription until the fund either runs out or until the end of March when the transition fund is scheduled to end.
We hope to know ASAP whether it will get approval. If you require filling a prescription again prior to the decision maybe the pharmacy will give a few days worth until the decision is made. We have also requested that if people have already filled this months prescription, that there be a avenue for reimbursement.
December 23, 2015
Transition Fund Update
The Court approved the Retiree Benefit Transition Fund motion and signed the order today, so the fund will come into effect January 1. For more information see the documents listed below. The retirees will receive a mail out to inform them as well.
December 18, 2015
Government $3 Million Transition Fund for Retirees
Here are the Letters, Guidelines and Required Documents for the Transition Fund that has been announced for retirees. Please keep in mind that these are subject to the courts approval on December 23, 2015
October 27, 2015
Pharmacist, Optometrist and Dentist who are willing to assist our retirees who have had their benefits suspended. To view click here
October 20, 2015
Trillium Drug Plan
For people under 65 filling out and sending in the Trillium forms on their own. Here are some key points to know:
To expedite the application, mark on the top of the form U.S. Steel.
The start date on the forms should be October 10, 2015. Any prescription drug bills acquired from Oct. 10 until your filing has been approved, can be submitted manually and retroactive to Oct. 10.
Sign the consent line for them to be able to access the CRA. Then you won't have to provide the previous years CRA assessment.
If your income in 2015 has been reduced by 10% or more over 2014 you can fill out a Re-assessment Request form to have the annual deductible reduced. The deductible is based on around 4% of the household income and broken down to quarterly amounts.
Oct. 15, 2015
There is information posted below for Trillium for people who no longer have coverage for prescriptions.
Trillium forms can also be obtained at any pharmacy and all pharmacies should provide assistance in applying for the Trillium Drug Program.
We will be having a meeting next week to investigate the options with Greenshield Canada regarding coverage. We will provide more information after we have the meeting.
We have set up some further meetings with pharmacies over the next week for other possible options and will forward that information as it becomes available.
Notify your doctor and your pharmacist than you are not on the Trillium Drug Plan and not the Greenshield Benefit Plan.
Retirees 65 and over
Notify your Doctor and Pharmacist that your Greenshield Benefit Plan has been suspended and that all your prescriptions will be going under the Ontario Drug Plan.
You will now have to pay $6.11 per prescription unless the pharmacy deducts the $2.00 co-pay portion.
October 14, 2015
The Judges Written Reasons were released today.
October 13, 2015
An update to the information posted below on benefits. The Benefits were cut off as of 11:59 pm Friday October 9, 2015. Any bills that have to be submitted manually need to be submitted by October 31, 2015 according to Greenshield. We don't believe that time frame is reasonable but have not been able to contact the Company.
We encourage retirees to apply for Trillium unless you have other coverage, i.e., Government coverage for prescriptions at age 65 when collecting CPP, spousal coverage etc. It takes time to apply for Trillium Drug coverage and be accepted. If you find you don't need to use it after all there would be no cost. Click on the links below for more information. We are sourcing other options and if we find any reasonable alternatives we will communicate them.
October 9, 2015
Court ruling on the Business Conservation Plan
The judge granted the order on what they call the Business Conservation Plan today. That includes the suspension of post retirement benefits. To view a copy of the ruling click here. The judges written reasoning will follow at a later date. In court he suggested written reasons would follow on Tuesday.
Pension payments will continue to be made on both the base and supplementary pension for retirees.
Life insurance payments will continue to be paid.
Here is some information for people to review. The Union will be looking at setting up meetings and have an advisor there to help people who require assistance to fill out the information and how to maximize their program if they decide to enroll.
If your spouse has a benefit program that could be another option as well.
Trillium Drug Program
Trillium Information and Forms
20,000 Pensioners Lose Critical Health and Drug Benefits Due to Harper’s U.S. Steel Sellout
TORONTO, 9 October 2015 – The federal Conservative government must accept its responsibility for 20,000 pensioners who are immediately losing critical health benefits and prescription drug coverage, the United Steelworkers (USW) says.
“There will be 20,000 pensioners waking up tomorrow without health benefits and prescription drug coverage, because of the Harper government’s secret deals with U.S. Steel. It’s a disgrace,” said USW Ontario Director Marty Warren.
“We’re calling on Stephen Harper to directly address this crisis and to take meaningful action – before October 19th,” Warren said.
The United Steelworkers (USW) will continue to fight to protect U.S. Steel Canada workers and pensioners, following a court ruling today allowing the company to stop paying health and other benefits.
Pensioners are expected to lose their benefits at midnight tonight.
“U.S. Steel and the federal government must be condemned in the strongest possible terms for callously abandoning their commitments and responsibilities, particularly to some of the most vulnerable residents of our communities,” Warren said.
“We will continue to pursue every avenue at our disposal to defend the jobs, pensions and benefits of our members and pensioners,” he said following the Ontario Superior Court ruling in U.S. Steel Canada’s bankruptcy protection proceedings.
The decision by Superior Court Justice Herman Wilton-Siegel approved a plan for U.S. Steel Canada to be severed from parent company U.S. Steel.
The court-sanctioned plan also allows U.S. Steel Canada to stop paying for health and prescription drug benefits for more than 20,000 pensioners, as well as to stop paying municipal taxes to the City of Hamilton and Haldimand County.
“U.S. Steel caused this crisis because it set up its Canadian operations to fail,” said Gary Howe, President of USW Local 1005 in Hamilton.
“Now U.S. Steel is walking away from this devastation, while U.S. Steel Canada’s restructuring plan targets thousands of vulnerable and sick pensioners by taking away the medical benefits and prescription medications they desperately need,” Howe said.
“Our federal government allowed U.S. Steel to take over some of the most modern and efficient steelmaking facilities in North America, based on legal commitments to workers, pensioners and communities,” said USW Local 8782 President Bill Ferguson, representing workers at U.S. Steel Canada’s Nanticoke operations.
“The Conservative government allowed U.S. Steel to starve our operations, export our work to the U.S. and break all of its obligations to maintain jobs and production in Canada. It’s time for this government to step up – before this election – and help us save and rebuild this industry,” Ferguson said.
“The United Steelworkers is committed to building a prosperous Canadian steelmaking company again,” said Warren.
"We are committed to reversing the damage caused by U.S. Steel and the Conservative government. We need our government to finally stand up for Canadian workers, pensioners and communities,” he said.
Warren noted that the USW has had discussions with Ontario government officials and the province will provide $3 million for a hardship fund to help U.S. Steel pensioners pay for health care and prescription drug costs. The fund is expected to cover costs for six months, he said.
“We are exploring other possibilities and arrangements to help address these issues and we will continue to communicate with our members and pensioners accordingly,” he said.
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For further information:
Oct. 8, 2015
Post Retirement Health Benefits
The Company has submitted to the Court requesting to suspend the payment of Prescription drugs, dental and other health benefits for retirees on October 9 upon the courts ruling. The judge indicated he was going to rule on the matter tomorrow. The Union has been strongly advocating on the retirees behalf that there are other cost savings measures that should be considered prior to taking this drastic measure. All the presentations have been made in court by our legal and financial advisors. However, in the event of a negative ruling, retirees may want to go and fill whatever prescriptions etc that they can or may need before they are cancelled.
We have been investigating other options and will pursue matters further based on the judges ruling. However those costs would be transferred to the retiree.
We will keep you updated as things take place and will continue to fight to protect the pensions, post retirement benefits and jobs. These plants are good assets and with good management and leadership, can be successful operations once again.
April 10, 2014
If anyone is receiving denial letters or request letters from Greenshields please contact Terry Barnard or Ben Foreman at the Union Hall. 519-587-2000 ext. 225.
There has been changes to the Group Benefits Plan Booklet. We are currently in the process of getting the most up to date. One of the major changes made that will be modified in the current plan would be Travel Insurance. The plan only covers for insurance while in Canada.
To print Over the Counter Pre-authorization forms click here. These forms have to be mailed or faxed to the provider.
Trillium Drug Program
Mail question to:
Trillium recipients contact
P.O. Box 337, Station D
Mail Form to:
Trillium Drug Program
P.O. Box 337, Station D
Trillium Information and Forms
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