Editor’s note: The following notice has been issued by the Seafarers Health and Benefits Plan:
New Health Benefits
The Trustees of the Seafarers Health and Benefits Plan (SHBP) regularly evaluate the benefits available from the Plan in an effort to better serve the Plan’s participants. They have recently approved two new benefits for active employees and their spouses at the Core-Plus and Core benefit levels, and a benefit increase that applies to eligible pensioners as well as to employees at the Core-Plus and Core level.
Increase in Hearing Aid Benefit
In the past, the SHBP provided a $350 benefit towards the purchase of a hearing aid every five years. Effective July 1, 2018, this benefit is being increased to $3,000 every three years. This $3,000 benefit may be used toward the purchase of one or two hearing aids; however, $3,000 is the maximum benefit amount you may receive in a three-year period. The hearing aid benefit is available to eligible employees at the Core-Plus and Core benefit levels, and to eligible pensioners. Dependents are not eligible for hearing aid benefits.
New Infertility Benefit
Until now, SHBP did not cover services to diagnose the cause of infertility, or to treat infertility. Effective July 1, 2018, all eligible employees and their spouses at the Core-Plus and Core benefit level are eligible for benefits to diagnose infertility. The Plan will pay for these services in the same manner as the Plan pays for doctor’s visits and diagnostic tests for any other health condition. The Plan will also pay up to $10,000 per eligible employee or spouse to treat infertility. Once this $10,000 is used, the Plan will not provide any additional benefits for treatment of infertility. Dependent children, pensioners and spouses of pensioners are not eligible for this benefit.
New Sterilization Benefit
The SHBP previously excluded coverage for tubal ligation and for vasectomy. Effective June 1, 2018, the SHBP will provide benefits for both of these procedures. Employees and their spouses at the Core-Plus and Core benefit are eligible for these benefits. Dependent children, pensioners and spouses of pensioners are not eligible for benefits for sterilization. The Plan will not pay for the reversal of a vasectomy or tubal ligation.
If you have any questions about these benefits, please contact the Plan at (800) 252- 4674.
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