Health Benefits Hour Bank

The term "Hour Bank" means the account established for an Employee to which are credited hours for which contributions are made by Contributing Employers, or are required to be made to the Fund with respect to that Employee's work.

Hour Bank Deductions

  •  Effective January 1, 2010, 120 hours are deducted from the Employee's Hour Bank for each month of coverage (a transition period applies).
  • Initial Eligibility. New participants will become eligible on the first day of the month after at least 360 hours have been reported on their behalf by contributing employers during a period of 3 consecutive months or less.
  • A lag month will exist between the month in which the hours are worked and the month of eligibility provided by those hours; therefore, hours worked in a month provide eligibility for the second month following the month in which the hours were worked.
  • The maximum hours in an Employee's Hour Bank after deducting 120 hours for the current month's eligibility is: 1320 hours for an Employee who established initial eligibility prior to July 1, 1992; or 990 hours for an Employee who re-establishes eligibility or becomes initially eligible on or after July 1, 1992.
  • Bank hours cannot be used to extend coverage for periods in which an Employee is working in Non-Qualifying Employment.

Pro-Rated Hours

Refer to the Benefit Reduction Schedule per Section 2.05 of the Rules and Regulations

Reinstatement of Eligibility of an Employee with an Hour Bank

  • If the eligibility of an employee with an Hour Bank has terminated, his eligibility will be reinstated on the first day of the second calendar month after his Hour Bank is credited with a total of at least 120 hours, provided the required number of hours were accumulated within the 12-month period immediately following the termination of his previous eligibility.
  • An Employee with an Hour Bank who fails to reinstate his eligibility in accordance with paragraph (1) will again become eligible upon meeting the requirements of stated in the Plan.

What Happens to Your Hour Bank When you Retire

When you retire, any remaining hours in your hour bank will be used to provide you with benefits under the Pensioned Operating Engineers Health and Welfare Plan instead of the Active Plan, including retiree Delta Dental plan coverage, at no cost to you.
 
Three-month extension: If your hour bank has enough hours for one month of eligibility when you retire, 3 additional months will be added to your hour bank, which will be used to provide you with benefits under the Pensioned Operating Engineers Health and Welfare plan at no cost to you.

Retirees will not have to pay the self-pay contribution to the Pensioned Health and Welfare plan for any months of coverage provided by their Active hour bank. Until July 1, 2010, each 110 hours in the hour bank will provide one month of coverage under the retiree plan. Starting July 1, 2010, 120 hours will be deducted from the hour bank for each month of retiree health coverage. Once the Active hour bank is exhausted, you will need to pay the self-pay contribution to continue coverage, and the premium for the voluntary retiree Delta Dental plan if you wish to continue dental coverage.

Extended Coverage by Self-Payment

Except as described in Section "Freezing of Hour Bank" below, an Employee whose eligibility terminates and who is not eligible for benefits as a Retired Employee may continue coverage for himself and his Dependents for up to 3 months, provided he makes the required monthly payments to the Fund, in the amount determined by the Board, in accordance with the following rules:

  • The first monthly payment must be made during the month eligibility is lost, by the date stated in the self payment notice provided by the Fund; and
  • Payments must be continuous for so long as the person is otherwise ineligible; and
  • Each monthly payment must be made by the 15th day of the month for which coverage is desired.
  • At the end of the 3 month period, an Employee may elect to extend coverage through the COBRA provisions of the Plan as outlined in the Plan.
  • The Fund assumes no responsibility for an Employee's failure to take timely advantage of this Self Payment provision.

Freezing of Hour Bank

An Employee may not use his Hour Bank to extend coverage while he performs Non-Qualifying Employment. During periods of Non-Qualifying employment, the Hour Bank will be frozen until the Employee once again becomes employed by a Contributing Employer, retires or becomes unemployed. If the Employee does not become employed with a Contributing Employer, retire or become unemployed within 12 months after the freezing of his Hour Bank, the Hour Bank will be canceled. An Employee whose eligibility terminates due to the cancellation of his Hour Bank may not extend coverage by making self-payments, as provided in Section "Extended Coverage by Self-Payment" above.