October 14, 2014
By Amanda LoMonaco
Teamster Center Services, A Taft-Hartley Trust Fund, was established at Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY, in 1962. They provide employee assistance and other services to over 28,000 Teamster families in the greater NYC area. They are having their 21st annual Health and Benefits Expo at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, in NYC from 8:30am to 1pm on October 24th. Empire BlueCross Blue Shield is the event’s Diamond Sponsor.
The event is a long conference on issues related to benefits, multiemployer and public union health plans and the issues that they are facing. Attendees of the event will include union welfare and pension fund trustees, administrators, key staff and their consultants (accountants, lawyers, actuaries, etc.).
Andy Johnson, 53, the Administrator of the Teamster Center Services Fund, created by the Teamsters Joint Council #16 (which is the Joint Council for Teamster unions in NYC, Westchester and Long Island), fromPittsford, NY, said, “this is a very important event because union health and pension funds need a whole variety of vendors and services in order to operate (dental insurance, doctoral network and someone to run your claims, there are a ton of services you need).”
Johnson wants to emphasize that it is important to make more time to meet with all these vendors that provide us great services. “21 years ago our agency realized we have all these vendors with great services, but unions have meetings once a month and no time to meet with vendors even though they need to- so we created this event. More than 50 different exhibitors from across the country will be on hand to exhibit their products and services. Their services are all over the place from a network for hearing aids, to claims auditing, and all services that plans need in order to function,” said Johnson.
The conference agenda will include five educational workshops with timely information on issues that are critical for multiemployer and public benefit plans. Four of the workshops will run two at a time so attendees can choose which topic they want to learn about.
“These workshops are all issues that are critical to different aspects of health and benefits for union plans. One is the Affordable Care Act, one is on issues related to the Mental Health Parity Act, and another is on commercial drivers. There is a new law based on who can do physicals on commercial drivers so there is a medical director,Jeffery Altholz, Founder and CEO of Clarity Testing Services,that will be coming to speak about their physicals,” said Johnson.
Johnson stated that Deni Carise, Chief Clinical Advisor for Sierra Tucson, one of the premier substance abuse treatments in the country, is going to have a workshop on addiction and treatment trends.
Additional speakers that will be at the Health and Benefits expo include, Susan Taranto, Principal and Consulting Actuary Milliman, who will be speaking about the Employer Health Plans Post ACA Issues, Concerns and Actions; Mike Reha, Director of Sales and Marketing EPIC Hearing Healthcare, who will be speaking about how we hear, how hearing loss is treated, how many are affected, and how to design a cost-effective benefit and Suresh Bangara, CEP of Access HIS and Former National Medical Director for Cigna Behavioral Health, who will be speaking about the impact of the Mental Health Parity Act on healthcare and the use of technology to assess outcomes.