HEALTH AND SECURITY BENEFITS

Local 389: Home Care Aides on the Frontlines

June 2, 2020 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Margaret Glover prays.  The president of Local 389, which represents 7,000 private sector home health care aides, worries about the clients she cares for, and her co-workers. “Oh my God, I don’t know how I feel. Some days are good for me and then some are bad,” Glover said. Home health care workers are among the many thousands of DC 37 members who work on the frontlines during the crisis. Because of their work providing in-home care services for people physically unable to care for themselves, they take on added risks during the pandemic. Many of the clients live alone, are elderly, or have medical conditions that make it impossible to live a normal life outside the confines of their homes. “We are often their family because we are there,” Glover said. “We do everything for them. We cook, clean, go with them to doctor appointments and all.” As always, her [More...]

PSU Offers Grief and Bereavement Counseling

May 20, 2020 // 0 Comments

During COVID-19, people are experiencing many losses, including the death of loved ones, the loss of health, freedoms, and routines. Many are experiencing cumulative grief due to so many losses occurring consecutively. Any of these losses can trigger a range of emotions that individuals may experience. These emotions are also referred to as The Stages of Grief.  Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are commonly seen within The Stages of Grief. Everyone has their own emotional timeline and experiences grief differently due to personal experiences. COVID-19 deaths are particularly challenging, as these deaths are more sudden and unexpected. During this time, those grieving do not have traditional grief rituals and goodbye ceremonies. Reaching out to others, writing a goodbye letter and speaking to a professional counselor are helpful coping mechanisms. During COVID-19 the [More...]

PSU Help for Victims of Domestic Violence

April 28, 2020 // 0 Comments

Domestic Violence. As you have seen on the news, as a result of COVID-19 and being advised to stay in our homes, there is a genuine public concern about a rise in domestic violence.  The Personal Service Unit (PSU) of DC37’s Health and Security Plan would like to provide the following information and resources to you if you are victim of domestic violence or know someone who is in this situation. You do not have to tolerate emotional or physical abuse. If you are in a situation where your partner becomes agitated, do not engage. Give the person space and walk away in order to keep yourself safe. Keep a list of trusted persons to contact if you feel unsafe and need to leave right away.  Have an emergency bag ready with essential belongings and important documents. Keep it in an easily accessible place. Keep important contacts and hotlines numbers saved in your cellphone. Pack a [More...]

DC 37 Members Diagnosed With COVID-19 to Apply for Workers’ Comp

April 15, 2020 // 0 Comments

By DIANE WILLIAMS DC 37 urges its members, especially those classified as essential workers, frontline workers, and healthcare workers, who have contracted and are diagnosed with novel coronavirus, COVID-19, to apply for Workers’ Compensation. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board has extended the window to file a claim by an additional 30 days from the date of your injury or illness. The Workers’ Compensation Board has not changed its rules or application process. Any DC 37 member seeking to file a Workers’ Comp claim must notify their agency within 30 days of testing Positive for COVID-19 and provide medical documentation to substantiate their claim. Members must also file a C-3 form with the NYS Worker’s Compensation Board by telephone or electronically. DC 37 does not provide legal representation in [More...]

A Few Self-Care Tips for You and Yours During COVID-19

April 13, 2020 // 0 Comments

The Personal Service Unit (PSU) of DC37’s Health and Security Plan would like to offer some Self-Care Tips to use during this challenging time: 1. Social distancing does NOT mean emotional distancing. Continue to reach out to friends and family for support and, if you can, video chatting can help feel increased connection. 2. For those working from home, try to create structure within your day to keep regular meal times, wake and bed times, and get dressed for the day (comfortable wear is fine). 3. Reduce or place a time limit on your news consumption. Avoid watching or reading the news before bed. Instead, try to watch something light or humorous. 4. Maintain healthy boundaries. It is ok to set limits and say “No” to others when things feel a bit unmanageable. 5. Focus on your emotional and physical wellbeing. Try your best to eat healthy, balanced meals, exercise, or try a [More...]

PSU Can Help You Cope with COVID-19 Stress and Anxiety

April 1, 2020 // 0 Comments

The DC 37 Health and Security Plan is here to help members cope with the stress and anxiety of COVID-19.  Many people feel Stress, Anxiety, and Depression in the face of the uncertainty of COVID-19. If these feelings are overwhelming you, the Personal Service Unit (PSU) can help. The following are common symptoms to look out for: Emotional: Anxiety, Depression, Sadness, Loss, Isolation, Mood Swings, Worry Physical: Disrupted Sleep or Appetite, Chest Palpitations, Upset Stomach, Headaches Behavioral: Outbursts, Short-Tempered Communication, Difficulty Making Decisions HOW CAN A DC 37 PERSONAL SERVICE UNIT (PSU) SOCIAL WORKER HELP? We offer a safe place to discuss and process feelings through confidential individual counseling sessions. We are offering teletherapy during COVID-19. Assist our members challenge negative thoughts and develop a more optimistic outlook.  Teach mindfulness [More...]

Important Information About Your DC 37 Health & Security Plan Benefits During COVID-19

March 23, 2020 // 0 Comments

YOUR OPTUMRx PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFIT (All Active and Non-Medicare, Pre-65 Eligible Participants) Refill Too Soon. Effective immediately, in consideration of the COVID-19 situation, the DC 37 Health & Security Plan requested and OptumRx has agreed to immediately lift the “Refill Too Soon” restriction on covered drugs until further notice. Drugs with significant abuse potential (i.e. opioids) or those that are generally dosed for finite durations or intermittently (i.e. hepatitis or fertility treatments) as identified by OptumRx will follow the normal process for renewals. Prior Authorizations Extended. OptumRx has also agreed to extend Prior Authorizations (PAs) for member medications that are set to expire on or before May 1, 2020. This policy went into effect March 18, 2020.  For chronic condition medications, OptumRx will extend PAs for an additional 90 days past May 1, [More...]

New Hep C Treatment Program Available at NYC Health + Hospitals

December 4, 2019 // 1 Comment

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 members suffering with Hepatitis C are now eligible to participate in a pilot program designed to effectively treat the disease and reduce the exorbitant cost of current prescription medications. The new treatment regimen, devised by NYC Health+Hospitals in collaboration with the DC 37 Health & Security Plan, is available to members and dependents under 65 who are covered by the union’s prescription drug benefit, which is administered by OptumRx. The NYC Health+Hospitals program, which typically lasts between 8-to-24 weeks, is designed to encourage patients to stick with its regimen of medication and other parts of the treatment. Participants are assigned Patient Navigators to guide them through the process. To date, 15 members have signed up for the program. The latest Hepatitis C drugs have a 90% percent cure rate of the illness, but are outrageously [More...]

De Blasio Seeks Local Legislation to Provide Health Insurance to Spouses and Partners of all City Workers Who Die from 9/11 Ilnesses

September 11, 2019 // 0 Comments

Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced his support for local legislation to provide health insurance for the survivors of all city employees fatally stricken by 9/11 illnesses. Currently, coverage is limited to the surviving spouses and domestic partners of police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and higher-ranking employees in those titles who died during their active service or in retirement. This legislation would close a gap in current law so that all city employees who die of a 9/11 illness are treated the same. “On our city’s darkest day, thousands of city employees answered the call,” de Basio said. “They didn’t hesitate. We need to be there for their families, now and always.” About 5,000 employees across several city agencies and in various titles could be covered by this legislation over time.  This population represents city [More...]

Take an Opportunity to Return to School

January 29, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Interested in going back to school? At a series of one-on-one meetings at the union—“CUNY Days at DC 37”—you will have an opportunity to discuss how you can complete your degree and take advantage of other educational options. The District Council 37 Education Fund is working with the Murphy Institute (the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies) in a new collaboration to help members return to school and advance in their career. This program will help you: Learn about the academic requirements for specific jobs; Choose a CUNY campus and major; Apply to and finance college; Become informed about continuing education and certification options; Long term career development; Find out about the fastest-growing industries in New York City; …and more. Over three months, the program is going to hold free 30-minute individual sessions for members to discuss their [More...]