Catholic Health has put out a press release announcing that they are cutting off our health insurance.
But don’t worry! As a reminder, the CWA Member Relief Fund - which has over $400 million in it - covers our necessary healthcare during the strike as well as strike pay checks.
Going forward, here’s what you need to know:
Ask doctors offices to bill you.
If you have an ongoing medical condition, like kidney problems or cancer, come to the hall to discuss, confidentially, whether the Members Relief Fund will cover COBRA for you to maintain necessary treatment. In general, members who do have ongoing conditions will be able to get COBRA to keep necessary continuing treatment.
For other non-routine issues that come up, keep your bills and submit them to the union. The union will determine at this point if you would qualify for COBRA or if unavoidable bills will be paid on an individual basis. CWA members would not accrue debts for anything medically necessary.
Any kind of routine treatment that can be postponed until after the strike should be postponed.
If you have any questions or concerns, please call (828-1133) or come to the union hall (821 Elk St) Monday through Friday 8am-4pm.
Receiving Money from the Solidarity Fund + Other Assistance Available
In order to process bills through the Solidarity Fund*, we need:
Form filled out
Copy of the bill that needs to be paid
Unemployment letter stating benefit amount you will be receiving
*As a reminder, the Solidarity Fund is separate from the CWA Member Relief Fund. The MRF funds out strike pay checks we’re receiving each week as well as healthcare coverage for necessary treatment should CHS cut off our health insurance. The Solidarity Fund is set up through outside donations and can be used for members who have emergency bills or payments they need assistance with. The Solidarity Fund is determined by need, and does not have infinite funds. Our committee can also help apply for programs to help with bills if that is an option.
We also have a food pantry set up at the union hall at all times - all members are welcome to come pick up groceries from the food pantry. Tomorrow (November 1) Feed More WNY will be bringing a donation of perishable & non-perishable food to the local 1133 in the morning. Distribution will be after everything is organized at the union hall. Please keep an eye on your text messages for the distribution time and remember your reusable grocery bags!