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benefits FAQs

Retirees often have questions about their benefits. We are pleased to share these FAQs (frequently asked questions) with you and welcome any additions you may have. Just click on any bulleted item and the answer will appear on your screen.



 
 
How do I go about getting an award letter for pension verification?
You can request an award letter by writing to:
Employee Benefits Department
Con Edison
4 Irving Place
Room 1100
New York, NY 10003
Attn: Customer Service
 
How can I change my address?
Request a change of address record card from Employee Benefits. Fill out and return the form to Employee Benefits and the system will be updated. Or you may call: 1 (800) 582-5056 or fill out an online form.
 
Can my check go directly to the bank?
Yes, if the bank is a member of an automated clearing house and has an ABA Number. Request a form from Employee Benefits, Room 1100, or Disbursements (212)460-3197, Room 201-S. Complete the form and return it to Disbursements.
 
Why haven't I received my pension check?
If it is the 10th of the month or earlier, give the mail a few days. If it is the 15th of the month or later, call Disbursements (212)460-3197, with the appropriate information (name, employee #, address). A stop-payment will be put on the old check and you will be issued a new one.
 
How do I request pension information in divorce cases?
To obtain this information, contact Ceridian Benefits Services Inc., Con Edison QDRO Dept., One Independence Way, P.O. Box 2023, Princeton, NJ 08543-2023, (727) 395-1626 or (727) 866-5905.
 
Can I borrow on my pension?
No.
 
Can I continue to participate in the Savings Plan and Stock Plan as a retiree?
You may be eligible to defer your savings plan money (up to age 70 1/2 if the balance is over $3,500) but you cannot put new monies into the savings plan.

You may not continue to participate in the Stock Plan; however, you can establish a dividend reimbursement account through the Bank of New York by calling 1(800)522-5522 or 1(800)221-6664 (outside New York State).
 
Is there a death benefit from the LTD Plan?
No.
 
Do I have to pay state tax on my pension and do you deduct state tax if I move out of state?
In New York State, if you are older than 59 1/2, the first $20,000 of pension money is not subject to state and local taxes. Outside of New York, please consult with a tax advisor; however, the company will not withhold taxes for any other state.
 
When do I need to retire to get the next yearís COLA? When does the COLA become effective?
In order to receive the retirement plan COLA, you must be retired by December 1 of the previous year. The COLA takes effect with the April retirement check.
 
What is the procedure for joining the Retiree Health Program if I do not enroll immediately upon retirement?
If you or your spouse/same-sex domestic partner choose to join this program at a later date, you will be asked to provide proof of continuous coverage, for example, a letter from the insurance carrier of your prior employerís group health plan.
 
Can I add a new spouse/same-sex domestic partner to Retiree Health Plan?
Yes.
 
How can I add a new spouse/same-sex domestic partner to the Retiree Health Program?
Call the Employee Benefits Department (1 (800) 582-5056) and request a Retiree Health Program Enrollment/Change Form and, if appropriate, a Domestic Partner Affidavit. Complete and return the forms with a copy of the marriage certificate or same-sex domestic partner affidavit.
 
How can I add legally adopted, foster, and/or stepchildren to the Retiree Health Program?
Call the Employee Benefits Department and request a Retiree Health Program Enrollment/Change Form. Complete and return the form with a copy of the court-appointed document.
 
Can I change my medical enrollment selection?
Yes, each year during open enrollment.
 
When do I notify the Benefits Department of my Medicare eligibility status?
Thirty days before the effective date of your Medicare benefits.
 
Do I need to accept Medicare Parts A and B even if Iím not age 65?
Yes. United takes Medicare benefits into account in calculating plan benefits payable to you.
 
How do I sign up for Medicare cross-over?
Call the Employee Benefits Department and request an UnitedHealthcare USHC Medicare direct enrollment card.
 
What is the rule about pre-existing conditions?
Retirees and their dependents may enroll in the Retiree Health Plan even if they have pre-existing health conditions that might make them ineligible for other health plans. However, enrollment in the HMO Option is open to retirees and their eligible dependents except those who participate in a hospice program or have end-stage renal disease.
 
If, as a surviving spouse receiving pension benefits, I remarry/reregister, would my new spouse or same-sex domestic partner be eligible for medical coverage?
No. Your new spouse/same-sex domestic partner is not eligible for coverage.
 
My dependent child is graduating from college. When do I need to notify the Employee Benefits Department about the need for COBRA coverage?
The request for COBRA coverage must be received by Employee Benefits (1 (800) 582-5056) within 60-days after the month of graduation.
 
How do I change the beneficiary on my life insurance policy?
Call MetLife, Basic Insurance, at 1 (800) 486-3240 or Group Universal Life Insurance (GUL), at 1 (800) 523-2894.
 
How do I find out the value of my life insurance policy?
Call MetLife, Basic Insurance, at 1 (800) 486-3240, or Group Universal Life Insurance (GUL), at 1 (800) 523-2894.
 
Whom do I contact to report the death of a retiree?
Call MetLife at 1 (800) 486-3240.
 
Whom do I contact to report the death of a surviving spouse/same-sex domestic partner beneficiary who is collecting a pension?
Call Employee Benefits, at 1 (800) 582-5056
 
My spouse/same-sex domestic partner has passed away. Whom do I need to notify?
Call Employee Benefits, at 1 (800) 582-5056
 
Why is the company adjusting future contributions for participants enrolled in the Retiree Health Program?
Medical costs have been increasing at a significant rate over the past few years. This increase is expected to continue into the future. The company is not obligated to make contributions to the Retiree Health Program, but if it decides to do so, it will limit the amount it contributes to the program.
 
How does this affect me?
Retirees now contribute approximately 20% of the total cost of the program. From 2002 to 2007, the company may contribute up to approximately 80% of the programís costs. Retirees will pay for the remaining program costs above any company contribution.

Each year, beginning in 2008, if the company decides to contribute to the Retiree Healthcare Program, the maximum amount will be the previous yearís contribution, plus a cost-of-living adjustment. If health care costs rise above the cost-of-living adjustment, you will be asked to pay more for your retiree health care coverage.
 
What is the Consumer Price Index (CPI)?
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for consumer goods and services. The CPI measures inflation as experienced by consumers in their day-to-day living expenses. The index affects nearly all Americans because of the many ways it is used. Two major uses are to adjust federal tax tables and to increase Social Security benefits. The Con Edison Retirement Plan also uses the CPI to calculate the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) that is applied to pension benefits each April.
 
Will my contribution be increased each year?
Starting in 2008, if health care costs increase in a given year and the companyís contributions do not cover this increase, your costs will rise.
 
How can I keep health care costs down?
The more successful you are at keeping health care costs down, the less impact this adjustment may have on your contributions. This is why it is important to become an educated consumer and use participating providers for your medical services and purchase generic drugs for your pharmaceutical needs whenever possible. Consumers spend thousands of dollars each year out of their own pockets for services that may not be necessary, and the program pays for more expensive services when participants do not use network providers.
 
Who is not affected by these future health care contributions?
All retirees may see increases in their future Retiree Health Program contributions; however, if you are receiving a pension of $1,000 or less, your contributions will be adjusted differently. Your monthly contributions will be periodically adjusted to cover the difference between total costs and the amount the company elects to contribute to the program. If your pension rises above $1,000, your contribution amount will be affected.
 
I lost my Con Edison ID card. How do I obtain a replacement?
Contact Employee Benefits at 1 (800) 582-5056 with a date and time when you can come to 4 Irving Place to pick up a new card. Employee Benefits will send an E-mail to the Photographic Department authorizing the issuance of the new card.
 
What if I can't pick up my ID card in person?
Please mail a passport picture in which you are facing front to Employee Benefits, 4 Irving Place, Room 1500-S, New York, NY 10003, with a note requesting a new card. The new ID card will be mailed to your home. Be sure to include the address to which you would like the card mailed.

Please Note:
Although Con Edison currently sponsors the Retiree Health Program, the information above does not alter the companyís right to change or terminate the program at any time due to changes in laws governing employee benefit plans, the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code, Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or for any other reason. The company is not obligated to contribute any fixed amount or percentage of program costs.
 

Will Medicare cover me while I'm abroad? (Topic of the Month: Getting Medicare-Covered Care When Traveling)

Reprinted from Medicare newsletter, Ask Marci

I am planning a trip to Greece this summer with my husband. We are planning on going on a cruise to visit all the islands. What do we do if we get sick while we're abroad? Will Medicare pay for doctors or hospital stays outside the U.S.?

Marisol (Riverdale, New York)

Dear Marisol,

No, Medicare generally does not cover medical care you get outside the country. There are only two exceptions for which Medicare may cover medical care you get outside of the U.S. (sorry to say, neither of following circumstances applies to your situation):

  • Medicare will pay for emergency services in Canada if you are traveling a direct route between Alaska and another U.S. state.
  • Medicare will pay for medical care you get on a cruise ship if:
  • the ship is registered to the U.S. (very few are);
  • the doctor is registered with the U.S. Coast Guard;
  • you get the care while the ship is in U.S. territorial waters. This means the ship is in a U.S. port or within six hours of arrival at or departure
    from a U.S. port.

Some types of supplemental insurance, such as Medicare supplemental insurance policies (known as "Medigaps"), provide coverage for foreign travel. Medigaps are sold by private insurance companies to fill "gaps" in Original Medicare. Medigap plans C through J cover 80 percent of the cost of emergency care abroad during the first two months of a trip with a $250 deductible and a $50,000 lifetime cap. These plans require users to pay the bills first and obtain receipts, which they can submit later on for reimbursement.

If you are in an HMO/PPO or other Medicare private health plan, call your plan administrator to find out if your plan will cover any emergency care abroad.

If you will be traveling to a foreign country and want insurance, talk to your travel agent about buying travel insurance (this is different from trip insurance, which guarantees a refund if you should have to cancel your trip). Travel insurance is a short-term health insurance policy designed specifically to cover travel. You may prefer a policy that pays doctors or hospitals directly rather than you having to pay on the spot and ask for reimbursement later. Check if the policy covers ambulances or an emergency flight home.

For more information about your Medicare options, see Medicare Interactive.

-Marci



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