Healthcare

Union Workers

Extended healthcare for individuals covered by the Industry Wide Agreement (IWA) or Division A Contract:

1 Q: I have been laid off due to the Coronavirus. How long will I have healthcare for?
A: Our Union has moved mountains to win extraordinary protections and special benefits to assist the workers we represent to get through this emergency. The most important example has been the Union’s success in persuading and compelling a devastated industry to continue to fund healthcare coverage for most of the 40,000 workers we represent (most of whom are laid off) over a period of many additional months.

At the onset of the pandemic, now-HTC President Rich Maroko filed for arbitration to win extended medical coverage for laid-off workers. Through a series of arbitrations and tough negotiations, workers in IWA and Division A hotels who were laid off due to the Coronavirus have had healthcare coverage since April.

Most recently, on September 11, the arbitrator ruled that hotels signed on to the IWA and Division A contracts must pay for healthcare coverage for workers laid off due to the pandemic through December 31, 2020.

2 Q: Does the arbitrator’s award cover me if I am on the hotel’s insurance?
A: Yes, the Union takes the position that you are covered by the award.

3 Q. If I am on Worker’s Compensation, FMLA (including maternity leave), or disability, am I covered by the healthcare extension?
A: If you participate in Industry-Wide Benefit Fund and because you were on Worker’s Comp, FMLA, or disability, you were covered during February or March of 2020, then you will continue to be covered for the remainder of the extension.

4 Q: If I am a regular part-time worker, am I covered by the healthcare extension?
A: Yes, if you are otherwise covered, then you are still covered.

5 Q: What are the hours of the health centers during this crisis?
A: In an effort to protect members and health center staff, and to make sure that healthcare professionals are where they are needed most, the hours of each health center and health center pharmacy have been reduced. These reduced hours will allow for health center staff to rotate their schedules, which will help limit the risk of infection. The new hours began in March and will continue until further notice.

Brooklyn Health Center & Pharmacy
265 Ashland Place, Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 858-7200

  • Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
  • Pharmacy is CLOSED Saturday
  • Pharmacy is CLOSED Sunday

Harlem Health Center & Pharmacy
133 Morningside Ave., New York, NY 10027
(212) 923-2525

  • Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
  • Pharmacy is CLOSED Saturday
  • Pharmacy is CLOSED Sunday

Midtown Health Center & Pharmacy
773-775 9th Ave., New York, NY 10019
(212) 586-1550

  • Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
  • Pharmacy is OPEN Saturday – 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
  • Pharmacy is CLOSED Sunday

Queens Health Center & Pharmacy
37-11 Queens Blvd., Long Island City, NY 11101
(718) 361-1500

  • Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 9:00 to 5:00 PM
  • Pharmacy is OPEN Saturday – 9:00am-5:00pm
  • Pharmacy is CLOSED Sunday

Extended healthcare for individuals covered by the Greater Regional Industry Wide Agreement (GRIWA):

1 Q: I have been laid off due to the Coronavirus. How long will I have healthcare for?
A: On March 19, 2020 the arbitrator ruled that shops signed on to the GRIWA must pay for 6 months of healthcare coverage for HTC-represented workers who have been laid off due to the coronavirus. On September 23, 2020, the arbitrator ruled on a dispute between the Union and the hotel industry. He affirmed the Union’s position that this 6 month obligation began as of the date the laid off worker lost coverage. For thousands of workers enrolled in UNITE HERE HEALTH Plans 100 and 105, this occurred at the end of July. As a result, those workers will now have coverage until January 31, 2021.

2 Q: Does the arbitrator’s award cover my copayment for my healthcare?
A: Yes, the arbitrator ruled that under the GRIWA, management must pay for your employee co-contribution if you are laid off and for as long as you’re getting health insurance according to the award.

3 Q: Does the arbitrator’s award cover me if I am on the hotel’s insurance?
A: Yes, you are covered by the award and will have 6 months of healthcare from the date you lost coverage. In addition, on March 30th, the arbitrator ruled that under the GRIWA, management must pay for your employee co-contribution if you are laid off and for as long as you’re getting health insurance according to the award.

Contacting a doctor

1 Q: How can I schedule a non-emergency doctor appointment during the crisis?
A: For any HTC-represented workers, covered by the Industry-Wide Benefit plan—and your dependents— you can now schedule a telephone visit for any internal medicine, family practice, and pediatric providers. If you would like to schedule a telephone visit with your provider, please call one of our Health Centers.

For any HTC-represented workers covered by UNITE HERE HEALTH Plan 100 or Plan 105, if your doctor offers phone or video visits, they are covered and if your doctor is in network, they’re covered at 100%. If you can’t get an appointment with your doctor, you can now access a healthcare provider through Teladoc. For more information, visit UNITE-HERE Health’s website: https://www.uhh.org/coronavirus

2 Q: Is there a number I can call for more information on the Coronavirus?
A: Yes. Our Industry Wide Benefit Funds have set up special phone numbers, staffed Monday thru Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM at the Health Centers to answer questions about the Coronavirus outbreak. These hotlines are available to all HTC-represented workers regardless of whether or not they are covered by the Industry Wide Health Care Plan.

Hotlines:

Weekend and After Hours:

  • HTC-represented workers who are part of the Industry Wide Health Care Plan can call the Empire Nurse hotline at 1-877-825-5276.
  • HTC-represented workers who are covered by the Unite-Here Health Plan 100 and Plan 105 can call 1-800-222-1222.

3 Q: Am I able to speak to a therapist or counselor during this crisis?
A: For any HTC represented workers, covered by the Industry-Wide Benefit plan—and your dependents - the Members Health Assistance Program (MHAP) is offering counseling services over the phone for existing patients as well as setting up new patients over the phone. All counseling sessions are totally confidential. To be connected with a counselor please call MHAP Monday thru Friday 7:30 AM– 7:00 PM at (212) 237-3037 or (888) 615-6427.

For any HTC represented workers covered by UNITE HERE HEALTH Plan 100 or Plan 105, you can speak to a counselor through Optum’s behavioral health program: COVID-19: Accessing behavioral health treatment.

4 Q: I am a member on UHH Plan 100 or Plan 105, can I get tested for the coronavirus?
A:
For any HTC-represented workers and their families who are covered under UNITE HERE HEALTH Plan 100, Plan 105, or Plan 400, COVID-19 testing fees and co-pays are being waived. In addition, any medically necessary testing is covered at no cost to you. This means you won’t have to pay out of pocket for any testing that your doctor orders related to the Coronavirus. Plus, if your doctor is in-network and offers phone or video appointments, they are covered at 100%. For more information, you can contact UNITE HERE HEALTH at: 866-261-5676.

For individuals not covered by the healthcare extension:

1 Q: What happens when I no longer have healthcare coverage?
A: The Union has compiled a guide about the many alternative healthcare options that will be available to you should you lose healthcare coverage in the upcoming months. We encourage you to review this guide to explore which plan will be best for you and your family. Click here to be redirected to that guide. If you have any questions, or need assistance, you can contact us at (212) 245-8100 and select option #1. 

2 Q: Can I receive payment for my paid time off to extend my healthcare?

A: Before this pandemic, under the long-standing rules of the Industry-Wide Benefit Plan, covered employees were eligible for healthcare if they worked enough hours (functions in the case of banquet servers) or as part of a severance package. Laid off workers, generally were not eligible and payment of accrued time off did not their eligibility.

However, to meet this emergency, on August 25th, HTC President Rich Maroko convened a special meeting of the trustees of the Funds and convinced the trustees to amend the plan so that payment of paid time off would extend healthcare coverage. The trustees also approved a temporary plan that allows the workers we represent to maintain partial healthcare coverage.

This option will be available to HTC-represented workers who participate in the Industry Wide Benefit Funds and lose coverage in the months ahead. To read more about this new option, and the other alternative health care options that will be available for you and your family when you lose coverage, click here.

Non-Union Workers

For individuals in need of healthcare coverage:

1 Q: What happens when I no longer have healthcare coverage?

A:
If you lost your health insurance due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there are a number of options available to you, including paying for continued coverage through COBRA, applying for a publicly subsidized healthcare plan, or purchasing a Qualified Health plan through the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplace.

2 Q: How do I purchase COBRA?

A: If you lose your job, you generally have the option to purchase COBRA. COBRA is a federal law that allows eligible employees and their dependents to pay to continue their health coverage for a limited period of time, generally between 18 to 36 months. To purchase COBRA, contact your Human Resources department or healthcare provider for details.

3 Q: How do I enroll in affordable healthcare in New York State?

A: New York State has several programs that can provide you and your family with affordable healthcare if you do not have health insurance. These programs include:

  • Medicaid
  • The Essential Plan
  • Child Health Plus, if you have dependent children.
  • Qualified Health plans (“Obamacare” Marketplace plans)

Eligibility for Medicaid, the Essential Plan, and Child Health Plus depends on several factors including your income, family size, and whether you have dependent children. There are no income criteria for Qualified Health plans, but you may be eligible for subsidies to lower your plan’s cost, depending on your income. An easy way to apply for all of these programs is to send in an application to the NY State of Health marketplace. You do not need to send in an application for each program — the NY State of Health will decide which program(s) you and your family are eligible for based on your application. You can read more about your options for affordable healthcare in New York State, including how to apply for programs, here.

4 Q: How do I enroll in affordable healthcare in New Jersey?
A:
New Jersey has programs that can provide you and your family with affordable healthcare if you do not have health insurance. These programs include:

  • NJ FamilyCare (Medicaid, CHIP and Expanded Medicaid populations)
  • Qualified Health plans (“Obamacare” Marketplace plans)

Eligibility for NJFamilyCare depends on several factors including your income, family size, and whether you have dependent children. There are no income criteria for Qualified Health plans, but you may be eligible for subsidies to lower your plan’s cost, depending on your income. You can read more about NJFamilyCare and Qualified Health plans here.

For general healthcare information, visit Get Covered New Jersey.

Related News

What happens when the emergency funding of the Benefit Funds ends in January?

October 3, 2020 1:45 PM

As previously reported, unless the city’s hotel industry recovers by the end of the year and a large number of members are recalled, it is very likely that the Benefit Funds will have to temporarily reduce staffing and close locations in January, reducing services for those workers who remain working – at least until the industry recovers. Read more...

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Our Union, however, has moved mountains to win extraordinary protections and special benefits to assist the workers we represent to get through this emergency. The most important example has been the Union’s success in persuading and compelling a devastated industry to continue to fund healthcare coverage for most of the 40,000 workers we represent (most of whom are laid off) over a period of many additional months.

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September 25, 2020, 2:46 PM

Before this pandemic, under the long-standing rules of the Industry-Wide Benefit Plan, covered employees were eligible for healthcare if they worked enough hours (functions in the case of banquet servers) or as part of a severance package. Laid off workers were generally not eligible and payment of accrued time off typically did not extend their eligibility for healthcare.

However, to meet this emergency, on August 25th, HTC President Rich Maroko convened a special meeting of the trustees of the Funds and convinced the trustees to amend the plan so that payment of paid time off would extend healthcare coverage. The trustees also approved a temporary plan that allows the workers we represent to maintain partial healthcare coverage. Read more...

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