Hartford Full Time - ERISA Information

ERISA Information

 

This employee welfare benefit plan (Plan) is subject to certain requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), as amended. ERISA requires that you receive a Statement of ERISA Rights, a description of Claim Procedures, and other specific information about the Plan. This document serves to meet ERISA requirements and provides important information about the Plan.

The benefits described in your booklet-certificate (Booklet) are provided under a group insurance policy (Policy) issued by the Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company (Insurance Company) and are subject to the Policy’s terms and conditions. The Policy is incorporated into, and forms a part of, the Plan. The Plan has designated and named the Insurance Company as the claims fiduciary for benefits provided under the Policy. The Plan has granted the Insurance Company full discretion and authority to determine eligibility for benefits and to construe and interpret all terms and provisions of the Policy.

A copy of the Plan is available for your review during normal working hours in the office of the Plan Administrator.

1. Plan Name
Group Basic Term Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Plan for Employees of THE TRUSTEES OF TEAMSTERS LOCAL 170 HEALTH & WELFARE FUND.

2. Plan Number
LIFE – 501
ADD – 501

3. Employer/Plan Sponsor
THE TRUSTEES OF TEAMSTERS LOCAL 170 HEALTH & WELFARE FUND
330 S W Cutoff, Ste 202
Worcester, MA 01604-2730

4. Employer Identification Number
04-2219623

5. Type of Plan
Welfare Benefit Plan providing Group Basic Term Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment.

6. Plan Administrator
THE TRUSTEES OF TEAMSTERS LOCAL 170 HEALTH & WELFARE FUND
330 S W Cutoff, Ste 202
Worcester, MA 01604-2730

7. Agent for Service of Legal Process

For the Plan
THE TRUSTEES OF TEAMSTERS LOCAL 170 HEALTH & WELFARE FUND
330 S W Cutoff, Ste 202
Worcester, MA 01604-2730

For the Policy:
Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company
200 Hopmeadow St.
Simsbury, CT 06089

In addition to the above, Service of Legal Process may be made on a plan trustee or the plan administrator.

8. Sources of Contributions The Employer pays the premium for the insurance, but may allocate part of the cost to the employee. The Employer determines the portion of the cost to be paid by the employee.

9. Type of Administration The plan is administered by the Plan Administrator with benefits provided in accordance with the provisions of the applicable group plan.

10. The Plan and its records are kept on a Policy Year basis.

11. Labor Organizations
None

12. Names and Addresses of Trustees
None

13. Plan Amendment Procedure
The Plan Administrator reserves full authority, at its sole discretion, to terminate, suspend, withdraw, reduce, amend or modify the Plan, in whole or in part, at any time, without prior notice.

The Employer also reserves the right to adjust your share of the cost to continue coverage by the same procedures.

STATEMENT OF ERISA RIGHTS

As a participant in the Plan you are entitled to certain rights and protections under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), as amended. ERISA provides that all Plan participants shall be entitled to:

  1. Receive Information About Your Plan and Benefits
    • Examine, without charge, at the Plan Administrator’s office and at other specified locations, such as worksites and union halls, all documents governing the Plan, including insurance contracts and collective bargaining agreements, and a copy of the latest annual report (Form 5500 Series) filed by the Plan with the U.S. Department of Labor and available at the Public Disclosure Room of the Employee Benefits Security Administration.
    • Obtain, upon written request to the Plan Administrator, copies of documents governing the operation of the Plan, including insurance contracts and collective bargaining agreements, and copies of the latest annual report (Form 5500 Series) and updated summary Plan description. The administrator may make a reasonable charge for the copies.
    • Receive a summary of the Plan’s annual financial report. The Plan Administrator is required by law to furnish each participant with a copy of this summary annual report.
  2. Prudent Actions by Plan Fiduciaries
    In addition to creating rights for Plan participants ERISA imposes duties upon the people who are responsible for the operation of the employee benefit Plan. The people who operate your Plan, called “fiduciaries” of the Plan, have a duty to do so prudently and in the interest of you and other Plan participants and beneficiaries. No one, including your employer, your union, or any other person, may fire you or otherwise discriminate against you in any way to prevent you from obtaining a welfare benefit or exercising your rights under ERISA.
  3. Enforce Your Rights
    If your claim for a welfare benefit is denied or ignored, in whole or in part, you have a right to know why this was done, to obtain copies of documents relating to the decision without charge, and to appeal any denial, all within certain time schedules. Under ERISA, there are steps you can take to enforce the above rights. For instance, if you request a copy of Plan documents or the latest annual report from the Plan and do not receive them within 30 days, you may file suit in a Federal court. In such a case, the court may require the Plan Administrator to provide the materials and pay you up to $110 a day until you receive the materials, unless the materials were not sent because of reasons beyond the control of the administrator. If you have a claim for benefits which is denied or ignored, in whole or in part, you may file suit in a state or Federal court. If the Plan requires you to complete administrative appeals prior to filing in court, your right to file suit in state or Federal court may be affected if you do not complete the required appeals. If it should happen that Plan fiduciaries misuse the Plan’s money, or if you are discriminated against for asserting your rights, you may seek assistance from the U.S. Department of Labor, or you may file suit in a Federal court. The court will decide who should pay court costs and legal fees. If you are successful the court may order the person you have sued to pay these costs and fees. If you lose, the court may order you to pay these costs and fees, for example, if it finds your claim is frivolous.
  4. Assistance with Your Questions
    If you have any questions about your Plan, you should contact the Plan Administrator. If you have any questions about this statement or about your rights under ERISA, or if you need assistance in obtaining documents from the Plan Administrator, you should contact the nearest office of the Employee Benefits Security Administration (formerly known as the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration), U.S. Department of Labor, listed in your telephone directory or the Division of Technical Assistance and Inquiries, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210. You may also obtain certain publications about your rights and responsibilities under ERISA by calling the publications hotline of the Employee Benefits Security Administration.
CLAIM PROCEDURES

The Plan has designated and named the Insurance Company as the claims fiduciary for benefits provided under the Policy. The Plan has granted the Insurance Company full discretion and authority to determine eligibility for benefits and to construe and interpret all terms and provisions of the Policy.

Claim Procedures for Claims Requiring a Determination of Disability

Claims for Benefits
If you or your authorized representative would like to file a claim for benefits for yourself or your insured dependents, you or your authorized representative should obtain a claim form(s) from your Employer or Plan Administrator. The applicable section of such form(s) must be completed by (1) you, (2) the Employer or Plan Administrator and (3) the attending physician or hospital. Following completion, the claim form(s) must be forwarded to the Insurance Company’s claim representative. The Insurance Company will evaluate your claim and determine if benefits are payable.

The Insurance Company will make a decision no more than 45 days after receipt of your properly filed claim. The time for decision may be extended for two additional 30 day periods provided that, prior to any extension period, the Insurance Company notifies you in writing that an extension is necessary due to matters beyond the control of the Plan, identifies those matters and gives the date by which it expects to render its decision. If your claim is extended due to your failure to submit information necessary to decide your claim, the time for decision may be tolled from the date on which the notification of the extension is sent to you until the date we receive your response to our request. If the Insurance Company approves your claim, the decision will contain information sufficient to reasonably inform you of that decision.

Any adverse benefit determination will be in writing and include: 1) specific reasons for the decision, 2) specific references to the Policy provisions on which the decision is based, 3) a description of any additional material or information necessary for you to perfect the claim and an explanation of why such material or information is necessary, 4) a description of the review procedures and time limits applicable to such procedures, 5) a statement that you have the right to bring a civil action under section 502(a) of ERISA after you appeal our decision and after you receive a written denial on appeal, and 6) (A) if an internal rule, guideline, protocol, or other similar criterion was relied upon in making the denial, either (i) the specific rule, guideline, protocol or other similar criterion, or (ii) a statement that such a rule, guideline, protocol or other similar criterion was relied upon in making the denial and that a copy will be provided free of charge to you upon request, or (B) if denial is based on medical judgment, either (i) an explanation of the scientific or clinical judgment for the determination, applying the terms of the Policy to your medical circumstances, or (ii) a statement that such explanation will be provided to you free of charge upon request.

Appealing Denials of Claims for Benefits
On any wholly or partially denied claim, you or your representative must appeal once to the Insurance Company for a full and fair review. You must complete this claim appeal process before you file an action in court. Your appeal request must be in writing and be received by the Insurance Company no later than the expiration of 180 days from the date you received your claim denial. As part of your appeal:

  1. you may request, free of charge, copies of all documents, records, and other information relevant to your claim; and
  2. you may submit written comments, documents, records and other information relating to your claim.

The Insurance Company’s review on appeal shall take into account all comments, documents, records and other information submitted by you relating to the claim, without regard to whether such information was submitted or considered in the initial benefit determination.

The Insurance Company will make a final decision no more than 45 days after it receives your timely appeal. The time for final decision may be extended for one additional 45 day period provided that, prior to the extension, the Insurance Company notifies you in writing that an extension is necessary due to special circumstances, identifies those circumstances and gives the date by which it expects to render its decision. If your claim is extended due to your failure to submit information necessary to decide your claim on appeal, the time for decision shall be tolled from the date on which the notification of the extension is sent to you until the date we receive your response to the request.

The individual reviewing your appeal shall give no deference to the initial benefit decision and shall be an individual who is neither the individual who made the initial benefit decision, nor the subordinate of such individual. The review process provides for the identification of the medical or vocational experts whose advice was obtained in connection with an initial adverse decision, without regard to whether that advice was relied upon in making that decision. When deciding an appeal that is based in whole or part on medical judgment, we will consult with a medical professional having the appropriate training and experience in the field of medicine involved in the medical judgment and who is neither an individual consulted in connection with the initial benefit decision, nor a subordinate of such individual. If the Insurance Company grants your claim appeal, the decision will contain information sufficient to reasonably inform you of that
decision.

However, any final adverse benefit determination on review will be in writing and include: 1) specific reasons for the decision, 2) specific references to the Policy provisions on which the decision is based, 3) a statement that you have the right to bring a civil action under section 502(a) of ERISA, 4) a statement that you may request, free of charge, copies of all documents, records, and other information relevant to your claim; 5) (A) if an internal rule, guideline, protocol, or other similar criterion was relied upon in making the decision on appeal, either (i) the specific rule, guideline, protocol or other similar criterion, or (ii) a statement that such a rule, guideline, protocol or other similar criterion was relied upon in making the decision on appeal and that a copy will be provided free of charge to you upon request, or (B) if the decision on appeal is based on medical judgment, either (i) an explanation of the scientific or clinical judgment for the decision on appeal, applying the terms of the Policy to your medical circumstances, or (ii) a statement that such explanation will be provided to you free of charge upon request, and 6) any other notice(s), statement(s) or information required by applicable law.

Claim Procedures for Claims Not Requiring a Determination of Disability

Claims for Benefits
If you or your authorized representative would like to file a claim for benefits for yourself or your insured dependents, you or your authorized representative should obtain a claim form(s) from your Employer or Plan Administrator. The applicable section of such form(s) must be completed by (1) you, (2) the Employer or Plan Administrator and (3) the attending physician or hospital. Following completion, the claim form(s) must be forwarded to the Insurance Company’s claim representative. The Insurance Company will evaluate your claim and determine if benefits are payable.

The Insurance Company will make a decision no more than 90 days after receipt of your properly filed claim. However, if the Insurance Company determines that special circumstances require an extension, the time for its decision will be extended for an additional 90 days, provided that, prior to the beginning of the extension period, the Insurance Company notifies you in writing of the special circumstances and gives the date by which it expects to render its decision. If extended, a decision shall be made no more than 180 days after your claim was received. If the Insurance Company approves your claim, the decision will contain information sufficient to reasonably inform you of that decision.

However, any adverse benefit determination will be in writing and include: 1) specific reasons for the decision; 2) specific references to Policy provisions on which the decision is based; 3) a description of any additional material or information necessary for you to perfect the claim and an explanation of why such material or information is necessary; 4) a description of the review procedures and time limits applicable to such, and 5) a statement that you have the right to bring a civil action under section 502(a) of ERISA after you appeal our decision and after you receive a written denial on appeal.

Appealing Denials of Claims for Benefits
On any wholly or partially denied claim, you or your representative must appeal once to the Insurance Company for a full and fair review. You must complete this claim appeal process before you file an action in court. Your appeal request must be in writing and be received by the Insurance Company no later than the expiration of 60 days from the date you received your claim denial. As part of your appeal:

  1. you may request, free of charge, copies of all documents, records, and other information relevant to your claim; and
  2. you may submit written comments, documents, records and other information relating to your claim.

The Insurance Company’s review on appeal shall take into account all comments, documents, records and other information submitted by you relating to the claim, without regard to whether such information was submitted or considered in the initial benefit determination.

The Insurance Company will make a final decision no more than 60 days after it receives your timely appeal. However, if the Insurance Company determines that special circumstances require an extension, the time for its decision will be extended for an additional 60 days, provided that, prior to the beginning of the extension period, the Insurance Company notifies you in writing of the special circumstances and gives the date by which it expects to render its decision. If extended, a decision shall be made no more than 120 days after your appeal was received. If the Insurance Company grants your claim appeal, the decision will contain information sufficient to reasonably inform you of that decision.

However, any final adverse benefit determination on review will be in writing and include: 1) specific reasons for the decision and specific references to the Policy provisions on which the decision is based, 2) a statement that you are entitled to receive, upon request and free of charge, reasonable access to, and copies of, all documents, records and other information relevant to the claim, 3) a statement of your right to bring a civil action under section 502(a) of ERISA, and 4) any other notice(s), statement(s) or information required by applicable law.