Archived News & Announcements

  • The New York Times: As lives lengthen, costs mount   Published: 11/17/2015
    After age 85, the average Medicare beneficiary has nearly $8,200 a year in out-of-pocket medical expenses and premiums
  • Is your paycheck going up in smoke?   Published: 11/12/2015
    The cost of smoking tobacco exceeds the price of cigarettes. Back in 2004, a Duke University study estimated the annual cost to be $15,000. If you do the math, it comes out to a whopping $40 a pack.
  • Breathe easier with CONDITION MANAGEMENT   Published: 11/04/2015
    Regular telephone sessions with a certified respiratory therapist help patients comply with their doctors' action plans. Patients also learn how to control symptoms, minimize attacks and avoid incidents that might lower their quality of life.
  • Sweetened drinks might raise men's risk for heart failure   Published: 11/04/2015
    Researchers made no distinction between drinks sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners. Fruit juices were not included in the study but can be as harmful as soda because they lack the fiber necessary to moderate absorption of fructose.
  • Weight, exercise may affect children's thinking skills   Published: 11/04/2015
    Normal-weight active children did better on tests of mental skills -- such as planning and paying attention -- than their inactive counterparts.
  • Diabetes, high blood pressure more common among seriously wounded soldiers, study finds   Published: 11/04/2015
    "Inflammation may be the reason why combat injuries increase the risk of chronic disease, the study authors suggested. Post-traumatic stress disorder may also play a role directly through inflammation or indirectly by leading to weight gain or substance abuse.
  • Antibiotics may not help after 'complicated' appendectomy   Published: 11/04/2015
    The medical profession is beginning to re-examine the role of antibiotics for treating other common acute surgical disease processes.
  • Survey: One in five pediatricians drops families who refuse vaccines   Published: 11/04/2015
    An ongoing debate continues to simmer over a doctor's right to refuse treatment for children whose parents are against vaccination. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both discourage this strategy.
  • Nearly 60 percent of Americans – the highest ever – are taking prescription drugs   Published: 11/04/2015
    Eight of the 10 most commonly used drugs are for hypertension, heart failure, diabetes and other elements of the "cardiometabolic syndrome."
  • At top U.S. hospital, almost 50 percent of surgeries have drug-related error   Published: 11/04/2015
    On average, about 10 medications were given during an operation. The study found that some kind of error was made in about 1 in 20 medications, which equates to every other operation. Medication errors are at least as high at many other hospitals.
  • If gastric bypass benefits Type 2 diabetes, might other surgeries help, too?   Published: 11/03/2015
    Other procedures "appear to be effective in decreasing blood glucose levels among patients with Type 2 diabetes, but investigators are still working out safety kinks for these interventions."
  • Hospital uses a grandmother's preferred germ killer   Published: 11/03/2015
    "Antibiotic-resistant bugs have made hospital stays risky, with 75,000 patient deaths a year due to infections acquired in health facilities that doctors were unable to control."
  • More ATM trouble: scammer innovations boost risk   Published: 11/03/2015
    Be extra vigilant and take these precautions when getting cash or making other transactions.
  • How much does severe obesity cost California? About $9.1 billion   Published: 11/03/2015
    California has the nation's third-lowest obesity rate, but it doesn't shield the state from high healthcare costs.
  • E. coli in Northwest marks Chipotle's 3rd outbreak this year   Published: 11/03/2015
    Three people in the Portland area and 19 people in western Washington have gotten sick with E. coli as of Friday. Seventeen of them had eaten at a Chipotle restaurant during the past few weeks.
  • Loading up on fruit, veggies in early adulthood pays off later   Published: 10/30/2015
    This study is the first to show that eating more fruits and vegetables as a young adult can help protect the heart many years later.
  • Truckers' fatigue, cellphones boost their crash risk: study   Published: 10/30/2015
    Unfortunately, the article doesn't attempt to explain why the "uncontrolled hypertension was surprising" for truckers who "undergo medical certification every two years." Fact is, patients don't always take their meds, and an estimated 125,000 Americans die because it every year, according to the American Heart Association. Never mind the $300 billion for additional doctor visits, ER visits and hospitalizations.
  • Health care costs for dementia found greater than for any other disease   Published: 10/30/2015
    Many experts believe dementia (like diabetes) is caused by excessive sugar consumption. Dementia can be prevented. The "significant health care costs to society and individuals" can be avoided.
  • Poll: Majority Of Americans Agree That The FDA Should Review Drug Ads Before They Air   Published: 10/29/2015
    While 50 percent of poll respondents said advertisements do a good job conveying what condition specific drugs are meant to treat, 65 percent said they don't make clear how much medication will cost.
  • Preventing the flu: good health habits can help stop germs   Published: 10/28/2015
    The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year. The next best way is to practice daily good health habits like covering your mouth when you cough and washing your hands.
  • Walgreens to Buy Rite Aid for $9.4 Billion   Published: 10/28/2015
    The transaction could draw significant antitrust scrutiny. Regulators will study specific geographical areas where Walgreens and Rite Aid compete. The combined new business will most likely need to divest itself of overlapping locations.
  • Agreement Is Seen as Short-Term Relief for Medicare and Social Security   Published: 10/28/2015
    Instead, if the budget agreement is approved by Congress, the basic Medicare premium would rise in January to $120 a month for about 30 percent of beneficiaries. The annual deductible, now $147, would increase to about $167 for all beneficiaries, rather than the $223 projected under current law.
  • Fall into a more balanced routine   Published: 10/22/2015
    The relaxed pace of summer is over. The arrival of fall means new school schedules, sports games and practices, club meetings, appointments, activities, etc. If just looking at your to-do list has you tuckered out, take a breath. Along with the change of season, you might need to change your schedule a bit to add more balance. Balance is the key to making your days happier and healthier.
  • Carpenters Retirement Planning Seminar - October 17, 2015   Published: 09/25/2015
    A retirement planning seminar will be provided to members age 53 and older through the Washington State Exterior Interior Systems Local 41 on Saturday October 17, 2015.
  • Health plan to Use Aetna network starting June 1   Published: 05/28/2015
    The Carpenters Health and Security Plan will be serviced by an Aetna preferred provider network for dates of service on and after June 1, 2015.
  • Risky Business: Using out-of-network providers   Published: 05/28/2015
    When choosing a health care provider, your best choice is a provider from the First Choice Health network. Here's why...
  • Carpenters Retirement Planning Seminar – March 28, 2015   Published: 03/02/2015
    A retirement planning seminar will be provided to members age 54 and older through Central Puget Carpenters Local 30 on Saturday March 28, 2015.
  • Carpenters Preretirement Planning Seminar – January 17   Published: 12/30/2014
    A preretirement planning seminar will be provided to members age 53 and older through South Puget Carpenters Local 129 on Saturday January 17, 2015.
  • 401(k) Annual Election Begins November 1, 2014   Published: 11/04/2014
    The annual election period for 401(k) contributions begins November 1, 2014 and ends December 16, 2014. 401(k) contributions are a great way to enhance your retirement benefits with additional tax- deferred retirement savings. Here's what to do...
  • Mayo Clinic programs to change on Nov. 1   Published: 10/07/2014
    Mayo Clinic's EmbodyHealth website (carpentershealth.org) will be discontinued effective Nov. 1, 2014.
  • Mammograms recommended for women 35 & older   Published: 10/07/2014
    By the end of this year, an estimated 40,000 women in the United States will die from breast cancer. As wives and partners, mothers and daughters, sisters, friends and neighbors, they will be missed by many. If there is any silver lining to this cloudy forecast, it's the fact that breast cancer survival rates are at an all-time high.
  • Listings added to urgent care directory   Published: 07/02/2014
    Our online urgent care directory was recently updated with new clinics in the Washington cities of Bothell, Maple Valley, Poulsbo, Seattle and Shoreline.
  • Achieve your goals with Health Coaching   Published: 06/24/2014
    Daily news stories constantly remind us of the physical and financial impact of unhealthy habits. Many people are aware of the health risks caused by stress, poor eating, irregular exercise, and excessive weight. Unfortunately, many also feel powerless to make changes.
  • Carpenters Preretirement Planning Seminar - May 17   Published: 05/12/2014
    A preretirement planning seminar will be provided to members age 53 and older through Carpenters Local 70 on Saturday May 17, 2014.
  • Carpenters Preretirement Planning Seminar - March 29   Published: 03/25/2014
    A preretirement planning seminar will be provided to members age 52 and older through Carpenters Local 30 on Saturday March 29, 2014.
  • Get more value from your healthcare benefits   Published: 03/20/2014
    You get what you pay for. We hear that expression over and over again in our daily lives, but is it true?
  • Mayo Clinic newsletter turns the page   Published: 02/27/2014
    The March 2014 Healthy Living newsletter from Mayo Clinic (formerly called EmbodyHealth) will be the last printed issue mailed to the homes of active and retired carpenters.
  • Carpenters Preretirement Planning Seminar   Published: 01/09/2014
    A preretirement planning seminar will be provided to members age 50 and older through Carpenters Local 129 on Saturday January 18, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Spouses are welcome. Refreshments will be provided.
  • Video: Renovation 2014   Published: 01/06/2014
    The Carpenters Health and Security Plan of Western Washington was officially renovated on Jan. 1, 2014. By "renovated," we mean the health plan was brought up to code so it now complies with two federal laws—the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA).
  • EmbodyHealth January Issue   Published: 01/02/2014
    EmbodyHealth contains easy-to-understand articles about things you can do today to improve your health and quality of life. View the latest EmbodyHealth Newsletter from January 2014!
  • New 401(k) plan effective Jan. 1, 2014   Published: 11/15/2013
    The Carpenters of Western Washington Individual Account Pension Plan will be converted from a money purchase pension plan to a 401(k) profit-sharing plan effective January 1, 2014.
  • EmbodyHealth November Issue   Published: 11/05/2013
    EmbodyHealth contains easy-to-understand articles about things you can do today to improve your health and quality of life. View the latest EmbodyHealth Newsletter from November 2013!
  • Health plan changes take effect Jan. 1, 2014   Published: 11/05/2013
    In compliance with two federal laws—the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA)—changes will be made to the Carpenters Health and Security Plan of Western Washington for dates of service on and after January 1, 2014.
  • Important Change in the Carpenters of Western Washington Individual Account Pension Plan   Published: 10/24/2013
    The purpose of this letter is to notify you of an important change in the Carpenters of Western Washington Individual Account Pension Plan (Plan). The Board of Trustees recently amended the Carpenters Individual Account Pension Plan to convert it from a money purchase pension plan to a 401(k) profit-sharing plan. This change is effective January 1, 2014.
  • Plan to join the Great American Smokeout   Published: 10/15/2013
    Can quitters be winners? For tobacco users, the answer is yes.
  • Is it time for a mammogram?   Published: 10/10/2013
    By the end of this year, an estimated 40,000 women in the United States will die from breast cancer.
  • Resolve to be ready: Prepare your advance directives   Published: 08/28/2013
    Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) wore many hats, but a hard hat wasn't one of them. Even so, he well understood the vital necessity of planning.
  • EmbodyHealth August Issue   Published: 08/02/2013
    EmbodyHealth contains easy-to-understand articles about things you can do today to improve your health and quality of life. View the latest EmbodyHealth Newsletter from August 2013!
  • Carpenters Care June 2013 Newsletter   Published: 06/04/2013
    In observance of Men's Health Month and Father's Day (on June 16), this issue offers do-it-yourself tips for becoming "better, stronger, faster" like The Six Million Dollar Man. Read about 5 ways to improve your health, boost productivity, and get more mileage from your union benefits. Learn 10 things you can do to beat the "silent killer" of high blood pressure without medication. With baseball season in full swing, remember that the Quit For Life program can help guys quit smokeless tobacco too. Find out how a coaching program for chronic illness can add years to your life and $200 to your wallet. And since men generally try to avoid going to the doctor, this issue provides information about Mayo Clinic's 24/7 nurse line and online symptom checker, the ideal tool for the do-it-yourself, fixer-upper.
  • CDC: Tips from Former Smokers   Published: 05/17/2013
    Smoking causes cancer - take steps to stop smoking!
  • CDC: Tipes from Former Smokers   Published: 05/17/2013
    This TV ad, from CDC's "Tips From Former Smokers" campaign, features three people who have stomas as a result of their smoking. They provide tips on how to live with this condition.
  • Insist on a second opinion... your own   Published: 05/14/2013
    Patients rely heavily on their physicians to make health care recommendations in their best interest. But physicians do not always get it right. Patients are decision-makers, too.
  • Dependent Audit Deadline Has Passed   Published: 04/17/2013
    If you have not verified your dependents' eligibility, please contact Participant Services at the Trust Office.
  • Carpenters Care March 2013 Newsletter   Published: 04/03/2013
    This edition of the Carpenters Care Newsletter introduces issues including: Compare providers to improve care, Kick Butts Day isn't just for kids, Know your risk for diabetes, Trustworthy health information, Show your kidneys a little more love, Nurse line lets you click when you're sick, and Pharmacy help on Express-Scripts.com
  • Urgent care clinics provide high-quality care   Published: 03/08/2013
    If you need care for a minor illness or injury, where will you go?
  • Personal health records: The past can create a healthy future   Published: 01/29/2013
    Should you create a personal health record? The Institute of Medicine estimates that paperwork and unnecessary administrative costs waste an estimated $190 billion of American's healthcare dollars every year.
  • Take charge to improve the quality of your healthcare   Published: 01/29/2013
    Building a healthy future is the project of a lifetime, and you are the superintendent.
  • Gain control and a $200 incentive with Carpenters diabetes program   Published: 11/06/2012
    Do you know someone who has diabetes? American Diabetes Month is a good time to time to remind eligible health plan members that Carpenters offers a diabetes management program and a $200 incentive for participation.
  • Heads up! Health assessments due by Oct. 31   Published: 10/23/2012
    Prevention is still the best protection you can get, whether it's buckling your seat belt, wearing a bike helmet, or getting a health screening.
  • Raising the bar on quality   Published: 10/18/2012
    Healthcare has its own quality standards. National Healthcare Quality Week is a perfect time to highlight the quality of wellness and health management programs offered to Carpenters and dependents.
  • Consumer Tips for Getting Better HealthCare   Published: 10/17/2012
    Do you want high-quality healthcare for you and your family? Here's something you can do about it.
  • Final 3 days to qualify for $200 incentive   Published: 09/27/2012
    If you're serious about earning a $200 gift card, it's time for serious action.
  • Enroll in Walk to Wellness, receive a free pedometer   Published: 09/11/2012
    Want to feel better, have more energy and perhaps even live longer? Exercise is the answer.
  • Complete your Health Assessment for Rewards   Published: 09/06/2012
    Being aware of health risks is a sensible way to prevent illness and disease. That's why the Mayo Clinic Health Assessment is a cornerstone of our Carpenters Wellness Program.
  • Biometric screening forms due by Sept. 30, 2012   Published: 09/06/2012
    Final 4 weeks! Biometric forms due Sept. 30, 2012. A biometric screening is not something you should put off doing. It can reveal early warning signs of serious illnesses and health conditions before symptoms develop.
  • Spending more doesn't get you more   Published: 08/28/2012
    Carpenters and their families want and deserve quality health care. But high cost doesn't always mean high quality.
  • Look for biometric screening points in September   Published: 08/01/2012
    If you faxed your Biometric Screening Form to Vivacity, you might be wondering why Carpenters Rewards points are not showing up on CarpentersHealth.org.
  • Confirm that your biometric form was faxed   Published: 07/03/2012
    Did you already fax your biometric screening form? Read on to learn how to obtain confirmation that it was received.
  • Mayo Clinic website recognized by the New York Times   Published: 06/28/2012
    New York Times columnist praises Mayo Clinic for "authoritative and up to date" online content.
  • Did you participate in a Nurtur program?   Published: 06/21/2012
    Please complete a quick online survey and share your opinions about the Nurtur program and your health coach.
  • Earn Carpenters Rewards for your biometric screening   Published: 06/21/2012
    Carpenters Rewards is back by popular demand with some major improvements.
  • Earn a $200 gift card with Carpenters Rewards   Published: 06/12/2012
    Most people understand the rewards of being healthy. But simply taking steps to improve your health can be rewarding, too, when you participate in Carpenters Rewards.
  • Quality care begins with appropriate care   Published: 05/29/2012
    In a health-care setting, quality care means getting the right care, at the right time, for the right reason. All three of these factors come into play when deciding where and when to receive medical care.
  • 2012 Summary of Material Modifications Available   Published: 04/04/2012
    The 2012 Summary of Material Modifications to the Eastern Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming Benefit Package and the Western and Central Washington Benefit Package are now available.
  • Primary care can mean better care   Published: 01/24/2012
    Carpenters know planning is critical to the success of small- and large-scale construction projects. Costs go up and quality declines when materials, machines and a skilled workforce are not effectively coordinated.
  • Retiree Health Plan: No Out-of-Country Coverage   Published: 01/06/2012
    Services or supplies from any provider received outside the United States are no longer covered by the Retiree Health Plan. This applies for dates of service on or after January 1, 2012 for retirees and dependents who are on or who are eligible for Medicare.
  • Make a plan to quit tobacco on Nov. 17   Published: 11/08/2011
    If you can quit tobacco for a day, you can quit for life. Get ready to quit with millions of others during the American Cancer Society® Great American Smokeout® on Thursday, Nov. 17. By day's end, you'll realize you do have the ability to regain control over your health.
  • Medco Pharmacy offers free smartphone app   Published: 10/26/2011
    A free smartphone app from Medco can help you keep track of your medications and take them as prescribed. The app is available for iPhone, Android, or Blackberry smartphones.
  • Mayo Clinic releases "know your numbers" music video   Published: 10/24/2011
    Mayo Clinic last week launched a heart health awareness campaign featuring a parody of the 1982 hit song "867-5309/Jenny."
  • The Rewards of a healthy, stress-free life   Published: 10/21/2011
    Are you overweight or obese? Do you have high blood pressure or diabetes? Are you depressed? Whatever you do, don't stress about it. Stress not only makes these conditions worse; it might well be the root cause.
  • Get moving now to get your Rewards   Published: 10/19/2011
    Carpenters Rewards is the incentive program that awards points for doing activities that promote healthy living. When you achieve 1,000 points you can redeem them for a $100 Hallmark gift card-but not for much longer.
  • Add years to your life, $200 to your pocket   Published: 10/17/2011
    No one likes being sick, but when you have a chronic health condition, sickness is part of everyday life.
  • Have you completed your online health assessment?   Published: 08/30/2011
    Many costly health conditions can be prevented or identified in their early stages with the aid of health assessments and routine screenings.
  • Power tools for improving your health   Published: 08/26/2011
    There's no shortage of prevention and wellness information on the World Wide Web. But identifying credible sources of well-researched and unbiased information can be very challenging. That's why the Carpenters Health and Security Plan provides unlimited access to the Mayo Clinic's EmbodyHealth website.
  • Don't forget the nurse line   Published: 08/22/2011
    When an injury or illness occurs, call Ask Mayo Clinic, your 24-hour nurse line.
  • How will you spend your $100 gift card?   Published: 08/08/2011
    Improving and maintaining your health is even more rewarding with a $100 gift card.
  • How fit are you? See how you measure up   Published: 07/15/2011
    Ready to start a fitness program? Measure your fitness level with a simple four-part test. Then use the results to set fitness goals and track your progress.
  • Quit for Life: It could happen to you   Published: 06/27/2011
    Difficult to quit? Yes. Impossible to quit? Not quite. More than 1,000 carpenters, spouses and dependents have become tobacco free through Quit For Life. If it worked for them, it just might work for you.
  • More rewards for wellness: A $100 gift card   Published: 06/24/2011
    Have you heard about Carpenters Rewards? As part of the Carpenters Wellness Program, it offers a $100 gift card for participating in activities that promote better health and wellbeing. In other words, you get rewarded for doing stuff that's good for you anyway.
  • Take the call, make the call, for Nurtur health coaching   Published: 06/15/2011
    Does the name "Nurtur" look or sound familiar? You may have seen it on something received in the mail. You might have heard it mentioned by someone trying to reach you by phone. If you're wondering what Nurtur is all about, read on.
  • Is Your Information Current?   Published: 06/08/2011
    The convenience and features of today's cell phones make it easy for people to make their "mobile" phones their "home" phones. Many people are saving money by disconnecting home telephone service altogether. That makes good sense as long as you remember to update your contact information so the plan can reach you. Just complete a Change of Address form and submit it to the Trust Office. If you've recently moved, that's one more good reason to update your contact information. Contact Participant Services with any questions.
  • 401(a) Supplemental Contribution Open Enrollment Ends April 30   Published: 04/27/2011
  • Carpenters Care March Newsletter   Published: 03/25/2011
    This edition of the Carpenters Care newsletter looks at the Walk to Wellness, steps to better health, exercise tips for busy people, and more. Click here for the complete newsletter.
  • Earn a $100 Gift Card With the New Wellness Incentive   Published: 02/16/2011
    Arriving today in mailboxes for eligible participants (non-Medicare, 18 and older), this letter provides a quick introduction to Built to Last, the new Carpenters Wellness Program, and Carpenters Rewards, our new approach to our gift card incentive program. These programs are endorsed by the Board of Trustees as ways to help you become more aware of our wellness offering, more involved in using these resources wisely, and more appreciated for taking an active role in improving your health.
  • Healthcare Reform Effective 1-1-2011   Published: 01/01/2011
    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is effective January 1, 2011 for the Carpenters Health and Security Plan of Western Washington. This new law was designed, in part, to increase the number of insured Americans and to keep those insured individuals covered longer. To this end, the Carpenters Health and Security Plan was required to make several eligibility and benefit changes to comply with the new law. These changes are effective on January 1, 2011 as described in the latest Carpenters Care Newsletter. The BenefitTabs, the Employee Health Plan SPD and the Retiree Health Plan SPD have also been updated to reflect these new changes.
  • Benefit Tools Launched: Dollar Bank Calculator, Work History, Enhanced Pension Calculator   Published: 10/27/2010
    New benefit tools are now online.
  • Pre-Retirement Planning Seminar   Published: 08/31/2010
    A preretirement planning seminar will be held at the Wenatchee local on Saturday September 25 at 9:00 a.m. Members of LUs 2205 (Wenatchee) and 770 (Yakima) who are age 50 and older will be invited but anyone in the area is welcome to attend. Please contact the Retirement Department at the Trust Office if you have questions.
  • 401(a) Supplemental Contribution Open Enrollment   Published: 04/01/2010
    Each year during the month of April, you may submit an application to change your employment classification under the collective bargaining agreement, thereby increasing or decreasing the 401(a) supplemental contribution made to the Carpenters of Western Washington Individual Account Pension Plan on your behalf. If you qualify and would like to change your employment classification, you must complete an application and submit it to the Trust Office in Seattle. Your completed and signed application must be post-marked by the United States Postal Service (USPS) or date-stamped by the Trust Office by April 30, 2010 or it will be denied. Please do not submit your application to your employer or local union. Please contact Participant Services at the Trust Office if you have questions about this process. For a copy of the letter mailed to carpenters, see letter. For a copy of the application, see application.
  • Mayo Clinic Online Health Assessment Begins Today With $75 Gift Incentive   Published: 04/01/2010
    If you're ready to take that next step to improve your health, the Mayo Clinic Health Assessment is a great place to start. This interactive, internet questionnaire helps you assess your health strengths and your health risks, as well as what you can do to improve them. This valuable tool is available on our plan's custom website - www.CarpentersHealth.org - to all non-Medicare participants and dependents age 18 and older who have current eligibility under this plan. Letters were recently mailed to all carpenters and dependents who qualified. Because taking the Mayo Clinic Health Assessment is an important way to help you improve your health, the plan is providing a $75.00 gift incentive when you complete your health assessment. The Mayo Clinic Health Assessment is available beginning April 1, 2010. The last day to take it is May 31, 2010. Please contact Participant Services at the Trust Office if you have questions. La evaluación de lá Clinica de Mayo está disponible en Español.
  • Carpenters Care February Newsletter   Published: 03/29/2010
    Effective January 1, 2010, carpenters and families previously covered under the Carpenters-Employers Health and Security Plan of Washington-Idaho are covered under the Carpenters Health and Security Plan of Western Washington. This is the initial newsletter that was mailed to them. We strongly welcome them to the plan. For more details, please see the latest Carpenters Care newsletter.
  • New Employee Health Plan Booklet   Published: 02/03/2010
    A revised Employee Health Plan booklet was completed and printed in December 2009 and mailed to participants and dependents who have eligibility based on employment with a covered employer. The new booklet provides details about dollar bank eligibility, new benefits such as bariatric surgery and the improved physical examination benefit for participants, spouses and domestic partners, and the new retiree health reimbursement accounts. The Employee Health Plan booklet is also for participants who were previously covered under the Carpenters-Employers Health and Security Plan of Washington-Idaho.
  • Carpenters Care September Newsletter   Published: 09/17/2009
    Effective October 1, 2009, the Carpenters Health and Security Plan of Western Washington (the Employee Health Plan) will begin using a "dollar bank" system to determine current and future eligibility for participants in this plan.
  • Carpenters Training News   Published: 08/18/2009
    This newsletter provides details on upcoming classes that are available.
  • Mayo Clinic Health Assessment   Published: 04/09/2009
    It's time to take the annual online Mayo Clinic Health Assessment. The Mayo Clinic Health Assessment is an interactive, internet questionnaire that helps you assess your health strengths and your health risks, as well as what you can do to improve them.
  • Carpenters Care February Newsletter   Published: 03/19/2009
    This edition of the Carpenters Care Newsletter covers Retiree Health Reimbursement Accounts, Benefit Updates, Rule of 80 and Eastern Washington, and more.
  • Carpenters Care October Newsletter   Published: 12/02/2008
    This edition of the Carpenters Care Newsletter covers Good Health by the Numbers, the Role of Tobacco in Health Matters, Trust Office Closures and more.
  • Carpenters Training News   Published: 09/02/2008
    This newsletter provides details on upcoming classes that are available.
  • New $4.00 401(a) Supplemental Contribution   Published: 07/06/2008
    The Master Agreement was amended to add a fifth employment classification. The new employment classification provides a $4.00 per hour supplemental contribution to the Carpenters Individual Account Pension Plan. If you qualify, you can apply to change to the new employment classification between July 1, 2008 and August 31, 2008. No other classification changes can be accepted at this time, except to Class 0.
  • Carpenters Care May Newsletter   Published: 06/03/2008
    This edition of the Carpenters Care Newsletter covers Benefit Improvements, Taking the Mayo Health Risk Assessment, New Benefit Statements, the New Pension Estimator, and more.
  • Pension Estimator Launched!   Published: 04/14/2008
    The trustees are happy to announce the launch of a new interactive pension estimator. With the new estimator, you will be able to project an estimate of your pension benefits/balances on any future date to see how much you may receive.
  • HRA Announcement   Published: 03/16/2008
    The Board of Trustees of the Carpenters Trusts of Western Washington is committed to helping you and your family improve your health. This commitment is part of a proactive strategy to improve the overall health of our plan population which can provide immediate results to you and your family, but can also improve healthcare costs in the future. To do this effectively, we need to make sure we continue to offer health resources that match your needs. That is why we are offering the Mayo Clinic Health Risk Assessment (HRA) again this year.
  • Carpenters Training News   Published: 01/25/2008
    This newsletter provides details on upcoming classes that are available.
  • Introducing Cardium Health - Our New Partner For Disease Management   Published: 10/01/2007
    Beginning October 2007, Cardium Health will provide focused counseling and support to carpenters and their spouses who have chronic disease conditions. The new Cardium Health program is part of the trust's initiative to help improve your health and your life.
  • Domestic Partner Eligibility for Health Care Benefits   Published: 09/13/2007
    Effective October 1, 2007, qualified domestic partners of eligible Carpenters Health and Security Plan of Western Washington participants may become eligible for health plan benefits, subject to satisfaction of certain enrollment and tax prepayment requirements.
  • Carpenters Training News   Published: 07/01/2007
    This newsletter provides details on upcoming classes that are available.
  • Carpenters Training News   Published: 01/03/2007
    This newsletter provides details on upcoming classes that are available.
  • Carpenters Care November Newsletter   Published: 12/19/2006
    This edition of the Carpenters Care Newsletter introduces issues including: Initial Results from the Ask Mayo Clinic, the Great American Smokeout, Free & Clear Program, and more.
  • Summary of Material Modifications   Published: 12/19/2006
    The Board of Trustees made three changes to the Carpenters Retirement Plan of Western Washington including an important benefit increase and a one-time bonus check for retirees. These three changes are summarized in this Summary of Material Modifications.
  • Annual Funding Notice   Published: 12/19/2006
    This notice, which federal law requires all multiemployer plans to send annually, includes important information about the funding level of the Carpenters Retirement Plan of Western Washington [EIN 91-6029051, Plan number 001] (Plan).
  • HRA Announcement   Published: 12/19/2006
    The Board of Trustees of the Carpenters Health and Security Trust of Western Washington is committed to helping you and your family improve your health. A variety of informational tools have been provided for you including Ask Mayo Clinic, the 24/7 nurseline, the Mayo Clinic HealthQuest Newsletter, and CarpentersHealth. org, the interactive website designed speciacally for carpenters and their families.
  • Carpenters Care June Newsletter   Published: 11/16/2006
    This edition of the Carpenters Care Newsletter introduces issues including: Norman Anderson Transitions As Trust Administrator, an Overview of Wellness and Disease Management Initiatives, and more.
  • New Mayo Clinic e-Health Program Website Available   Published: 08/01/2006
    The Carpenters Health and Security Trust, in cooperation with Mayo Clinic, has launched a new website specifically for participants and spouses covered under the Carpenters Health and Security Plan. With so much information on healthcare in magazines, on television, and online, it’s sometimes hard to know where to go or just what to believe.
  • Carpenters Training News   Published: 06/16/2006
    This newsletter provides details on upcoming classes that are available.
  • New Website Launched!   Published: 04/14/2006
    Welcome to the new Carpenters Trusts of Western Washington website. The new website features many items you may already be familiar with such as plan booklets, the various forms used to administer your fringe benefit plans, and links to related websites such as First Choice Health Network, Medco, and Qualstar Credit Union. We have also added summaries for each of the plans in the form of “BenefitTabs” (please see left column). Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the new website. We hope that it is helpful to you. We also welcome any questions or concerns you may have about the website or your benefits, in general.
  • Open Enrollment for 401(a) Supplemental Contributions   Published: 04/03/2006
    Each year in April, the Carpenters of Western Washington Individual Account Pension Plan provides you with the opportunity to increase or decrease the 401(a) supplemental contribution to the plan.
  • Carpenters Care March Newsletter   Published: 03/27/2006
    This edition of the Carpenters Care Newsletter introduces the Carpenters Health and Security Plan's new Wellness Program - an important healthcare intiative designed to provide useful resources to improve the health and lives of carpenters and their families.
  • National Student Clearinghouse   Published: 06/01/2004
    National Student Clearinghouse is a way to streamline verification of student eligibility status for dependent children ages 19 through 23.
  • USERRA   Published: 06/01/2004
    If you are called to active military duty and are covered under the Carpenters Health and Security Plan when called up, the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 or USERRA requires that you also be covered under the plan when you return to covered employment, within specific guidelines.
  • Changing Your Information   Published: 06/01/2004
    New guidelines established by the Privacy Practices of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) require that you (the participant) notify the Trust Office, in writing, of the following changes.
  • Is Your Enrollment Card Up-to-Date?   Published: 06/01/2004
    You must keep an up-to-date Enrollment Card on file at the Trust Office at all times.
  • Have You Moved?   Published: 11/01/2003
    Please contact the Trust Office any time you move. Your current address is required for us to process medical and dental claims, print Quarterly Benefit Statements and provide other materials and information necessary to administer your fringe benefits.
  • Auditing Paid Claims   Published: 11/01/2003
    The Board of Trustees contracted with HealthCare Insight to audit outpatient claims processed by the Carpenters Health and Security Plan.
  • Preexisting Limitation Changes   Published: 11/01/2003
    Effective January 1, 1998, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) changed the way a health and security plan can administer preexisting condition limitations.
  • A Look Ahead   Published: 11/01/2003
    The annual cost evaluation and“service-based” subsidy should help align retiree claim costs with contributions received. In addition, July negotiations added $.15 per hour effective June 1, 2003 and another $.15 per hour effective June 1, 2004 to retiree medical coverage for the 2003-2005 bargaining period.
  • Rate Increase For 2004 and "Service-Based" Subsidy   Published: 11/01/2003
    To help preserve retiree coverage as a benefit, the Board of Trustees elected to change the way retiree medical coverage is subsidized.
  • Medical Inflation   Published: 11/01/2003
    As you may know from previous issues of Carpenters Care, the Carpenters Health and Security Plan – For Retired Carpenters continues to pay out more in benefits each month than it receives in monthly contributions.
  • Introduction   Published: 11/01/2003
    The Board of Trustees has been researching ways to keep retiree health coverage available to early retirees and to those of you covered by Medicare.
  • New "Service-Based" Subsidy For Retiree Medical Coverage   Published: 11/01/2003
    The last issue of Carpenters Care discussed the inflationary factors that continue to drive medical costs upward. These factors affect both working and retired carpenters and their families.
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