Health & Welfare FAQs

Health & Welfare FAQs

What if I am Out of Province/Out of Country for more than 90 days?

If you will be out of country for longer than 90 days, you can purchase an individual policy through Co-operators Life to cover the additional days outside the country. Please call 1-800-379-9628, and let Co-operators Life know that you are looking to purchase an individual policy to cover you once your Group Out of Country benefits end. Download Maximum Benefit Travel Health booklet

Does our coverage include Emergency Medical Travel Assistance?

For Members covered under Class 1 or Class 2, you and your eligible dependents are covered under the Johnston Group Inc. Emergency Out of Province/Out of Country Group Policy for 90 days. Co-operators Life, through TIC, provides all emergency medical assistance services.

What information do I need to provide to my dentist so my dental claim can be submitted electronically?

Your dentist will need your Firm/Division Number, Certificate Number and CDA Net: Carrier #627223 which can be found on the wallet card located at the bottom of your Certificate of Insurance.

How can I order a replacement Certificate of Insurance or Telus Assure Prescription Drug Card?

Please notify the Edmonton office immediately if your Certificate of Insurance or Telus Assure Prescription Drug Card has been lost or stolen.

Where can I find my Firm/Division Number and Certificate Number?

You can find your Firm/Division Number and Certificate Number on the Certificate of Insurance that was mailed to you when you became covered under the plan.

When am I eligible for my next pair of new glasses under my Vision benefit?

You must contact the Maximum Benefit Claims Department at 1-800-893-7587. You must provide your Firm/Division Number and Certificate Number to obtain any information.

What is the Prior Authorization Drug Program?

The Prior Authorization Drug Program applies to a small number of drugs for which prior approval is required before being covered by the plan. For a drug to be approved for coverage, the member and doctor will need to complete a PA kit providing some medical information. PA kits are obtained by calling RESOLVE at 1-800-663-8637.

Is a particular drug covered under my plan?

All drugs must be investigated to verify benefits. Please contact the Maximum Benefit Claims Department at 1-800-893-7587 and include your Firm/Division Number, Certificate Number, the name of the drug and the Drug Identification Number (DIN). You can email this information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or fax to 1-866-878-0951.

Why is my Prescription Drug Card not working?

The most common reason for problems with your drug card is that the pharmacist does not have your correct date of birth on system. Please verify with them that they are keying in your correct date of birth, and whether you are the employee or spouse.

How do I submit a Prescription Drug claim?

Your Telus-Assure Prescription Drug Card should be presented to the pharmacy when making all prescription drug purchases. If a prescription was purchased without using the pay-direct drug card, you will need to submit your original receipts to TELUS Health Solutions on the pdf Employee Reimbursement Form for Drug Claims for reimbursement.

What happens to my Health & Welfare Hour Bank account if I become disabled?

No deductions will be made from your Health & Welfare Hour Bank account in any calendar month while you are disabled and in receipt of Workers’ Compensation Benefits (WCB), Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits (EI) or Short-Term Disability Benefits (STD) through the IUPAT Local 177 Welfare Trust Fund. The maximum period a Health & Welfare Hour Bank account may be frozen for is six (6) months.

What should I do if I become disabled?

You should notify the Edmonton Office immediately so we can explain the Short-Term Disability Program and provide you with the appropriate forms.

What happens to my benefits while I attend required schooling (Apprenticeship Programs)?

Coverage will be maintained while a member is attending required schooling. No deductions will be made from the Health & Welfare Hour Bank account during this period. You must notify the Edmonton Office in writing of your required attendance at school and provide the necessary proof of attendance in order to qualify for this extension of coverage.

How can I become covered again if my benefits were previously terminated?

If your coverage has previously terminated, you will again be covered on the first day of the second month in which you have accumulated 200 hours in your Health & Welfare Hour Bank account, provided your period of termination did not exceed six (6) months. If you were not covered through the Plan for more than six (6) months, you must meet the initial eligibility rule of 300 hours prior to becoming eligible for coverage.

How do I add or remove dependents?

The best thing to do is to contact the Edmonton Office and tell us who you would like to add or remove. We will provide you with instructions and the Maximum Benefit Notice of Change Form which will need to be completed and returned to the Edmonton Office for processing.

How many hours are taken from my Health & Welfare Hour Bank account for one (1) month of coverage?

Each month, 100 hours will be deducted from your Health & Welfare Hour Bank account to provide benefit coverage.

When will my coverage begin?

You and your eligible dependents will become covered on the first day of the second month following accumulation of 300 hours in your Health & Welfare Hour Bank account and the Maximum Benefit Group Enrolment Form has been completed and returned to the Edmonton Office. You must be a member in good standing with IUPAT Local 177 to be eligible to participate in the Health & Welfare Plan.

How do I get coverage under the Health & Welfare Benefit Plan?

You must work for a signatory contractor who will make monthly contributions to the IUPAT Local 177 Welfare Trust Fund on your behalf. These contributions are recorded in your Health & Welfare Hour Bank account.

Pension FAQs

Pension Faqs

How will I know what my benefits are?

You should receive an annual pension statement in approximately June of each year that will detail your hours and service and provide your status with the Plan. If you do not receive an annual pension statement, please check with the Fund Administrator to ensure the address they have on file is correct.

Do these pension benefits affect the Canada Pension Plan?

No, the benefits payable from the pension plan are in addition to any benefits you may receive from the Canada Pension Plan, and will have no impact on what you will receive from Canada Pension Plan.

Can I sign over my benefits?

No, The pension plan contains provisions prohibiting any assignment, sale or attachment of this pension benefit. It cannot be used as security for a loan. In the two circumstances noted below, a Court Order or Matrimonial Property Order or Agreement may be issued to assign or attach your pension entitlement. The Employment Pension Plans Act contains specific rules for dividing pensions on marriage breakdown. The Act gives the spouse the right to have his or her share of the Member's pension entitlement (which cannot exceed 50% of the entitlement earned during the period of marriage) transferred out of the pension plan at the time of a marriage breakdown. You should consult a lawyer about your rights and responsibilities int eh event of a marriage breakdown. The Maintenance Enforcement Act contains provisions that provide for the potential attachment of an individual's entitlement if they have unpaid child maintenance payments.

Must I retire at age 65?

No, retirement is completely voluntary. You may continue to work after age 65, however, your pension by law must start no later than December 1st of the year in which you have your 71st birthday. If you work past age 71, you will not earn any additional pension service.

Will proof of age be required?

Yes, all applications require an acceptable form of proof of age in accordance with standards established by the Trustees.

When should the application for pension be filed?

Your application must be filed with the Fund Administrator at least one month in advance of your expected retirement date, but no more than three months in advance.

How are the pension benefits paid?

The pension payments are payable on the first of each month by direct deposit into your bank account.

When will my pension benefits begin?

The normal retirement pension begins the later of the month you reach age 65 or the month following the date you last worked. The early retirement pension begins the later of the month following the month you reach age 53, the month following receipt of your written application or the month following the date you last worked.

Does This Plan Offer a disability Pension?

A disability pension is not one of the provisions in the Plan. If a member is totally disabled, a member of the union and in receipt of disability benefits from the Canada Pension Plan, he may be eligible to accumulate additional service credits up to a maximum of 350 hours per calendar year.

When am I vested under the Plan?

Effective September 1, 2014, you are immediately Vested once you meet the conditions to join the Plan. Once you are Vested, you will remain entitled to a pension whether or not you remain working.

What happens if I am diagnosed with a terminal illness?

If a Member, who has yet to retire, has an illness or a disability that is certified by a medical practitioner to be terminal or to likely shorten the Member’s life considerably, that Member may elect to convert all or part of their benefit entitlement to a series of payments for a fixed term to that Member. Alternatively, such Member may elect to withdraw as a lump sum an amount equal to the Commuted Value of the benefit.