Beginning October 1, 2021, medical benefits for Benefits Fund participants will be administered through Empire BlueCross BlueShield (Empire), replacing UnitedHealthcare Oxford.
The Fund’s Trustees recently conducted a comprehensive review process of provider options with a focus on finding a provider committed to offering the highest level of service to our participants and an extensive network of hospitals and physicians. After careful consideration, the Trustees selected Empire Blue Cross.
We expect the transition from UHC to Empire to be seamless for Fund participants, as there are no changes to the existing benefits program. All covered services, benefits, and copayments under the Benefits Fund remain exactly the same. Empire Blue Cross will mail new identification cards to all participants prior to October 1, 2021. If you’re already enrolled in Empire due to the Fund’s special election earlier this year or when you joined as a new participant after May 1, you will also receive new ID cards. Please use these new ID cards as certain contact information may have changed since your last card was issued.
If you or a family member covered by the Fund has a life-threatening or disabling condition or are pregnant beyond the first trimester, and your current provider is not in the Empire PPO network, you have the right to ask for continuation of services for up to 60 days called a Transition of Care.
Transition of Care Request
Is Your Provider in the Empire Network?
To find out if your current doctor is in the Empire BlueCross BlueShield network, follow these steps:
Step 1 – Go to empireblue.com/find-care and click on "Members"
Step 2 – Scroll down to "Member ID number or prefix"” and enter "N7Y." Then click "Search."
Step 3 – Enter your ZIP code or city and then enter a provider name or specialty.
Step 4 – View your search results
Informational virtual Zoom meetings were recently held by Benefits Fund and Empire staff to outline the upcoming change to Empire.
To view the presentation that was shown during the meetings, please click the button below.
Yes. Effective October 1, 2021, all Benefits Fund participants and eligible spouses and/or dependents will be covered by Empire.
No. All covered services, benefits, and copayments under the Benefits Fund remain exactly the same.
Yes. All participants will receive identification cards from Empire. If you're already enrolled in Empire due to the Fund's special election earlier this year or when you joined as a new participant after May 1, you'll also receive new ID cards. Please use these new cards as certain contact information may have changed since your last card was issued.
You don't need to fill out any enrollment paperwork. All participants and dependents will be automatically enrolled in Empire effective October 1, 2021.
No. All participants will be enrolled with Empire effective October 1, 2021.