What is the Goodyear Retiree Health Care Trust?
The Goodyear Retiree Health Care Trust was agreed to in December, 2006 during the labor negotiations between Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and Goodyear Dunlop Tires NA (“Goodyear”) and the United Steelworkers (“USW”). In October, 2007 a Settlement Agreement was reached with representatives of a class of retirees who had retired on or before January 1, 2007, and who had filed a lawsuit in the Federal Court for the Northern District of Ohio. The Federal Court approved that settlement on August 22, 2008. On that date, responsibility for your health care benefits was transferred from Goodyear to the Trust Committee.
The Trust is a Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Association or “VEBA.” That is a term contained in the Internal Revenue Code to identify a type of trust fund that can hold and use assets for the purpose of providing health care and similar benefits for groups of individuals who are designated as Trust participants. In the case of the Goodyear Retiree Health Care Trust, eligible participants include certain USW-represented retirees of Goodyear, surviving spouses, and eligible dependent spouses and children as defined in the Settlement Agreement.
Who is Running the Trust?
The Settlement Agreement grants complete authority for the operation of the Trust to a nine member Committee approved by the Federal Court. The members include: three persons nominated by the Union; two persons nominated by the Retiree Class Representatives who brought the lawsuit; and four independent Public Members. All of the Committee members have significant experience and expertise in the employee benefits field. Their sole responsibility as plan “fiduciaries” is to ensure that the Trust and the health care plans comply with the terms of the Settlement Agreement, and operate in the best interest of Trust participants.
Thomas F. Duzak
William Jerry Ivey
Simone L. Rockstroh
Scott M. Spencer
How is the Trust funded?
In the 2006 negotiations, Goodyear insisted on terminating its responsibility for providing health care benefits to Union represented retirees, forcing a lengthy strike by the USW. The strike ended only after Goodyear agreed to contribute nearly $1 Billion to the newly created Trust. In addition to this contribution, there are only three other sources of funds to maintain health care benefits for both current and future retirees: (1) additional contributions that active employees have made and may make in the future, in the form of cost-of-living and profit sharing deferrals; (2) retiree monthly premiums; and (3) investment income on the Trust’s assets.
It is important to remember that Goodyear cannot be required to make any additional contributions; the only sources of additional income will come from active employee deferrals, retiree premiums, and investment returns. Therefore, the Committee, as the Trust’s fiduciary, must continually design and manage benefit plans in ways that return the greatest benefit value for the long term with the available funds.
Can my Trust benefits be changed in the future?
Many factors may influence the future of retiree benefits, including: health care inflation rates; changes to state and national health care laws; the financial markets’ impact on investment of Trust assets; and certainly more direct factors such as the number of retirees who participate in the Trust and their health status.
The Committee and its expert advisors will continue to examine all of these factors. Again, our commitment is to abide by the terms of the Settlement Agreement, and to provide the highest benefit value to retirees with the available funds and for the longest period of time.
How will I be notified about Trust operations and any future benefit changes?
You can be assured that the Committee, with the assistance of the USW Pension & Insurance Representatives and the Retiree Class Representatives, will keep you informed of the operation of the Trust and, if any benefit or premium changes are required, you will be notified in writing as quickly as possible.
The Committee will be providing at least one newsletter annually to help keep you fully informed. You may also find important VEBA information on our website at www.GoodyearRetireeTrust.org.
What do the insurance carriers do?
The insurance carriers (Highmark, CVS Caremark and Delta Dental) are the health plan claims administrators. In addition to processing and paying claims in accordance with the provisions on the benefit plan, the insurance carriers provide identification cards, provide customer service to members and medical professionals, and review and make initial determinations on appeals of benefit denials.
What does the Trust Administration Office do?
In order to provide the highest quality service to Trust participants, the Committee conducted a nationwide search to identify a professional organization with demonstrated experience in Trust administration, including recordkeeping, financial management, and most importantly, customer service.
The Trust Administration Office is staffed with employees whose sole responsibility is to help Trust participants receive the benefits to which they are entitled. The staff routinely answers questions, provides information, helps to enroll new participants, interacts with our health plan claims administrators, and reports to the Committee on the overall operation of the Trust.
You are encouraged to contact the Trust Office by calling toll-free 1 (866) 694-6477 between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm EST if you have any questions regarding the Trust, your benefits, or need individual assistance.
Goodyear Retiree Health Care Trust – Administration Office
60 Boulevard of the Allies, 5th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: (866) 694-6477
Fax: (412) 224-4465
Whom do I contact when I have a problem or question about my medical coverage or a medical claim?
If you have questions about your medical coverage or have an issue with a medical claim, please contact Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield at 1 (888) 334-5027. This number is printed on the back of your medical identification card and should be used by all participants regardless of Medicare status.
If you have misplaced your medical identification card, you can request a new one by calling the number listed above.
Whom do I contact when I have a problem or question about my prescription drug coverage or a prescription drug claim?
Non-Medicare Eligible Participants
If you have questions about your prescription drug coverage or have an issue with a prescription drug claim, please contact CVS Caremark at 1 (855) 654-0302. This number is printed on your prescription drug identification card.
Medicare Eligible Participants
If you have questions about your prescription drug coverage or have an issue with a prescription drug claim, please contact SilverScript at 1 (855) 479-3654 or visit www.goodyearveba.silverscript.com.
Who do I contact when I have a problem or question about my dental coverage or a dental claim?
If you have questions about your dental coverage or have an issue with a dental claim, please contact Delta Dental at 1 (800) 524-0149. This number is printed your dental identification card.
Whom do I contact when I have a question about my Medicare Part B Reimbursement?
If you have a question about your Medicare Part B Reimbursement, please contact the Trust Administration office at 1 (866) 694-6477. Please note that the Medicare Part B Reimbursement is paid on a quarterly basis through automatic deposit into your checking or savings account.
Whom do I contact when I have a question about my monthly premium contribution?
If you have a question about your monthly premium contribution, please contact the Trust Administration office at 1 (866) 694-6477.
What do I need to do if I move?
It is extremely important that you notify the Trust Administration Office if you move or any of your contact information changes. Please update your contact information by calling the Trust Administration Office at 1 (866) 694-6477.
What do I need to do when I become Medicare Eligible?
MEDICARE PARTS A and B-MEDICAL COVERAGE
If you are Medicare-eligible, you must be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B to receive the maximum benefits under the Trust. This is just a reminder that you and your eligible dependents must enroll in Medicare Parts A and B as soon as you are eligible. When you are eligible for Medicare, the Plan pays claims as if you are enrolled in Medicare, whether or not you actually are enrolled. This means that if you are eligible for but not enrolled in Medicare, you will have significantly higher out-of-pocket medical expenses. When you receive your Medicare card you must send a copy to the Trust Administration Office.
MEDICARE PART D-DRUG COVERAGE
The Trust Health Care Plan provides comprehensive coverage for prescription drugs that has been certified to be superior to coverage under a standard Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (“Medicare PDP”).
If you decide to enroll in a standalone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription benefits, please be aware that you will lose your Trust prescription drug coverage, but you will still be required to pay the full premium for your Trust health care coverage.
In the event that the federal government notifies the Trust that you are enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan or a Medicare Advantage plan, the Trust will notify you of your opportunity to disenroll from that plan, but if you fail to do so, your prescription drug coverage under the Trust Health Care Plan will terminate effective 90 days after the date of such notice. If you are currently enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan please contact the Trust at 1 (866) 694-6477.
What do I need to do if my banking information changes?
If you are making premium contribution payments and/or are receiving your Medicare Part B reimbursement via automatic withdrawal or deposit, the Trust must be notified of any changes in your banking information. If you need to change or update your banking information, please contact the Trust Administration Office at 1 (866) 694-6477.