Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a question that is not listed here, please let us know and we will add it to this section. Other members probably have the same question. Please email your suggestions to email@example.com, mail them to the Fund Office, or call (630) 887-4150.
Here is a list of frequently asked questions by benefit type. If your question is not addressed here, you can contact the Fund Office at 630.887.4150.
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- How do I get my log in user name and password for the Member Portal of this website?
- You will receive your login information by mail. If you have not yet received it, please contact the Fund Office. For security reasons, under no circumstances will your login information be provided over the phone. It will only be mailed to the address on file with the Fund Office.
- Can I change my address over the phone?
- For security reasons, address changes are not accepted online or over the phone. You must submit a signed Change of Address Form, which is available on this website under the Forms and Notices tab. Address changes can only be made by the Member. We cannot honor address changes submitted by the spouse or dependent children.
- I have an adult dependent child between the ages of 19 and 25. Is he/she covered under the Plan?
- Under the Affordable Care Act, effective January 1, 2014, ALL adult dependent children over the age of 18 are covered regardless if they live at home or not, have other health coverage through their own employment or through their spouse, or are enrolled as a full time student until they reach age 26, as long as you, the member remain as an active member of the Plan. Spouses of dependent children are not covered, nor are children of dependent children.
Prior to January 1, 2014, the Plan covered adult dependent children between the ages of 19 and 25 unless they had other health coverage (such as, through their employment or a spouse’s employment) available to them.
- The Fund Office confirmed that they received the proper documents from me to add my dependents and they are now eligible, but the cards I received only have my name on them?
- Your cards will only have the member’s name listed, but they are good for all eligible dependents as well.
- Where can I find my unique identification number? Why do we need one?
- The unique ID is below your name on the Blue Cross Blue Shield identification card. It is also on your prescription drug card next to "ID". We switched to unique identification to keep your social security number private.
- When and where is the annual Health Fair?
- Local 731 hosts a Health Fair once a year in our building in Burr Ridge. The Health Fair usually takes place on a Saturday morning in the month of October. You can also visit other locations which will be announced in the mailing that goes out in September.
EmpiRx Health Home Delivery
- Why should I use EmpiRx Health for my prescriptions?
- EmpiRx Health Mail Order service is a convenient and cost-effective way for you to order up to a 100-day supply of maintenance or long-term medication for delivery to your home, ofﬁce or location of your choosing. You will minimize trips to the pharmacy and save money on your prescriptions.
- What is a maintenance medicine?
A maintenance medicine is taken on a regular basis for chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, ulcers and a variety of other conditions. You can save money on these medicines by ﬁlling a 90-day supply and using your EmpiRx Mail Order pharmacy beneﬁt.
- How do I use mail service?
- Have your doctor write your prescription for the number of days your plan allows for mail service (for example, 90 days).
Note: If you need your medicine right away, ask your doctor to write two prescriptions. Fill the ﬁrst one at your local drug store. Mail the second one to the EmpiRx Health mail order pharmacy, Benecard Central Fill.
- Fill out an Order Form. This form includes a conﬁdential patient proﬁle section for you and any family members. Write the member identiﬁcation number, patient name and patient date of birth on the back of each prescription.
- Mail the form with the prescription(s) and co-payment to:
Benecard Central Fill
PO Box 779
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
- We will ship orders to the address entered on the form.
- Check your order as soon as possible. Make sure you review your order within 21 days of receipt. Contact us immediately to report any issues. Member Service representatives and Clinical Pharmacists are available to discuss any questions at 1-877-241-7123.
- How do I reﬁll a prescription I have already received through EmpiRx Health Mail Order?
Do one of the following: Visit our website: www.EmpiRxHealth.com
Call EmpiRx Health Mail Order toll-free: 1-877-241-7123.
Fill out the Order Form that came with your previous order. Be sure to include your co-payment. Mail it to EmpiRx Health Mail Order.
- How do I ﬁll a new prescription?
Fill out an Order Form. Write the member ID number, patient name and patient date of birth on the back of each prescription. Mail the form to EmpiRx Health Mail Order. Include the prescription(s) and payment information. How can my doctor order a prescription for me? Doctors may call our toll-free number to prescribe your medication(s). Doctors may fax prescriptions to 1-888-830-9450. In addition to prescription information, your doctor must provide member ID number, patient name and patient date of birth. Note: To be legally valid, the fax must originate from the physician. All state laws apply.
- When will I receive my order?
You should receive your order within 14 days from the time EmpiRx Health Mail Order receives your prescription. Once received, a prescription typically takes one to two days to be processed and mailed if no additional information or clariﬁcation is required. Please allow a few extra days for your ﬁrst order. If you have questions or do not receive your order within 14 days, please check the website at www.EmpiRxHealth.com or contact us at 1-877-241-7123.
- What situations may cause a delay in prescription processing?
Situations that may create a delay include an incomplete or illegible prescription, manufacturer backorders and medications that require prior authorization. However, we will notify you if there will be a delay with your prescription shipment. To ensure timeliness in the processing of your requests, your prescriptions may be shipped in separate packages. Note: Orders received without payment cause processing delays and extended delivery times. Am I charged for shipping? No, shipping is free. However, EmpiRx Health Mail Order also offers expedited shipping for an extra charge. How can I check on the status of my prescription order? Visit www.EmpiRxHealth.comm or call us at 1-877-241-7123. Plan members who create an account on www.EmpiRxHealth.com will receive email notiﬁcation when a prescription is shipped. If I pay for expedited shipping, when will it arrive? With expedited shipping, the normal transit time for postal service is reduced. However, actual prescription processing time does not change and can vary due to quality checks we perform or exceptions that may arise. Possible exceptions include needing additional information from your doctor, prior authorizations or drug interactions. These steps promote the health and safety of plan members and provide the highest level of quality when processing your prescriptions. Visit our website: www.EmpiRxHealth.com Call Member Services toll-free: 1-877-241-7123. EmpiRx Health Mail Order.
- Why am I receiving overnight shipping when I did not request it?
We ship certain medications overnight at our expense due to special handling requirements. This may apply to prescriptions for controlled substances or medications that are temperature sensitive. What happens if I don’t receive my order? If you do not receive your order within 14 days, please contact us toll-free. We will reship your order to you as it is our priority to ensure you have the medication you need.
- How do I know whether I have reﬁlls remaining on my prescription?
The number of reﬁlls allowed is noted at the bottom of your medication label, on your reﬁll form and can be found on the EmpiRxHealth.com website. You can also call Member Services toll-free: 1-877-241-7123.
- How soon can I order a prescription reﬁll?
For most prescriptions, you may reorder when you have approximately 3 weeks of your prescription left. Your medication label includes a target date for reﬁlling the prescription. When ordering reﬁlls from EmpiRx Health Mail Order using the automated phone system, you will receive a message if your prescription is "too soon to reﬁll.” You will be given the date when reﬁlls will be available. If you place a reﬁll order after the expiration of your prescription, or if no reﬁlls are remaining, we will contact your physician for a new prescription. This may cause a slight delay. I have a prescription on ﬁle at a retail pharmacy; can I order reﬁlls from EmpiRx Health? Yes, however a new prescription from your doctor will expedite the process.
- What drugs are covered?
Your plan decides which medications are covered through EmpiRx Health Mail Order. To verify coverage please go to www.EmpiRxHealth.com, or call 1-877-241-7123. How much will my medicine cost me? The easiest way to determine the cost of your prescription is to log in to www.EmpiRxHealth.com.
- How can I pay for my mail service prescriptions?
Checks, money orders or major credit cards can be used to cover your co-payments. Credit cards are preferred to allow for variations in the prices of drugs and are required when placing an order through our website. For your convenience, your credit card number will be maintained on a secured site for future orders.
- How do I obtain additional order forms?
You can print order forms at www.EmpiRxHealth.com. You also receive a reorder form, reﬁll form and pre-addressed envelope with each prescription mailed to you.
- Can I speak with a pharmacist if I use EmpiRx Health Home Delivery?
Yes, pharmacists are available to answer questions regarding your medication at 1-877-241-7123.
- Can I fax my prescription that I received from my doctor?
No. Legally, EmpiRx Health Mail Order is only allowed to accept faxed prescriptions from your doctor.
- Is my information kept private?
Yes. We ask you for some personal information and we keep this information completely private. We use this information to help make sure you get the best care possible.
- Why did I receive a medication supply less than a 90-day supply?
There are a variety of reasons. Typically, your doctor may have only written the prescription for 30 days or a prepackaged medication may not be packaged as a 30-, 60- or 90-day supply. Remember to ask your doctor to write a prescription for up to a 100-day supply, with up to three reﬁlls, if your doctor determines it’s appropriate.
- What is a “controlled” medicine versus a “non-controlled” medicine?
A controlled medicine, such as a narcotic, has stricter guidelines and may be handled differently than non-controlled medicines, such as a medication for diabetes. We adhere to federal and state laws in the dispensing of all medicines. State law may require a copy of a state-issued ID, such as a driver’s license, for controlled medications to be dispensed.
Prior Authorization Program
- What is Prior Authorization (PA)?
Prior Authorization means that approval must be given for certain medications to be covered by your plan. EmpiRx Health works with your doctor or provider to make sure coverage is appropriate.
- How does a Prior Authorization Program work?
EmpiRx Health works with your doctor to ensure safe and effective use of select prescription medications. Before your copay can be applied at the pharmacy, the medication must be approved by EmpiRx Health with the help of your doctor. You, your pharmacist or your doctor can call EmpiRx Health to start the prior authorization process. EmpiRx Health will then contact your doctor to get the information needed to determine coverage for your medication.
- Why do some drugs need Prior Authorization?
Some medications have a higher possibility of overuse or may be prescribed outside of clinical dosing guidelines. In some cases, there are also specific dosages that should be used based on medical guidelines.
- Who decides which drugs to include for Prior Authorization?
A team of independent, licensed doctors, pharmacists and other medical experts review and discuss the latest medical guidelines and research. They decide which drugs should be included in the Prior Authorization Program.
- How do I know if my prescription needs a Prior Authorization?
Your pharmacist will let you know when you pick up your prescription at the pharmacy. You may also call the EmpiRx Health Member Services number on your pharmacy card for more information.
- What if the Prior Authorization request is not approved?
If the Prior Authorization is denied, you will be responsible for the full cost of your prescription at the pharmacy. You may fill your prescription, but your copay will not apply.
- Where can I get more help?
Visit www.EmpiRxHealth.com. You may also call the EmpiRx Health Member Services number on your pharmacy ID card.
Quantity Limit Program
- What is a Quantity Limit Program?
A Quantity Limit Program supports the management of your prescription drug plan by confirming that prescribed quantities are consistent with clinical dosing guidelines and medical literature. This program was established to provide safe and appropriate use of certain medications.
- How does a Quantity Limit Program work?
If you are currently receiving a quantity of medication below the identified quantity limit, your prescription will be covered under your pharmacy benefits. If your doctor writes a prescription for an amount greater than the quantity limit, you will need to obtain a prior authorization from EmpiRx Health before additional quantities are covered. You, your pharmacist or your doctor can call EmpiRx Health to initiate the prior authorization process. EmpiRx Health will then contact your doctor to get the information needed to determine coverage for your medication.
- Why do some medications have Quantity Limits?
Some medications have a higher possibility for overuse or may be prescribed outside of clinical dosing guidelines. In some cases, there are also specific dosages that should be used based on medical guidelines.
- Who decides which medications to include in the Quantity Limit Program?
A team of independent, licensed doctors, pharmacists and other medical experts review and discuss the latest medical guidelines and research. They decide which medications should be included in the Quantity Limit Program.
- How do I know if my medication has a Quantity Limit?
The pharmacist will let you know when you pick up your prescription at the pharmacy. You may also call the EmpiRx Health Member Services number on your pharmacy card for more information.
- What if the Quantity Limit request is not approved?
If the Quantity Limit request is denied, your pharmacy benefit plan will still cover an amount up to the quantity limit for that medication. You will be responsible for the full cost of any amount above the quantity limit for your prescription.
- Where can I get more help?
Visit www.EmpiRxHealth.com. You may also call the EmpiRx Health Member Services number on the back of your prescription card.
- What is a Step Therapy Program?
A Step Therapy Program is an approach to medication therapy that requires you to first try a more cost-effective medication (typically a generic medication) that has proven effective for most people with your condition before you can receive coverage for a similar, more expensive, brand name medication. These are considered “steps” of therapy.
- How does a Step Therapy Program work?
If your doctor writes a prescription for a medication that requires a Step Therapy, the requested medication may not be covered until a more cost-effective medication “step” is tried first.
- What if I need to skip a step?
Your doctor may contact EmpiRx Health to request prior authorization approval. This is a review between your doctor and EmpiRx Health to determine coverage for your medication.
- Why do some medications need Step Therapy?
Some medications are extremely costly. If lower-cost, clinically-effective medications exist, it may be prudent to try these first. In some cases, there are also specific dosages and quantities that should be used based on medical guidelines.
- Who decides which medications to include in a Step Therapy Program?
A team of independent, licensed doctors, pharmacists and other medical experts review and discuss the latest medical guidelines and research. They decide which medications should be included in the Step Therapy Program.
- How do I know if my prescription needs a Step Therapy?
The pharmacist will let you know when you pick up your prescription at the pharmacy. You may also call the EmpiRx Health Member Services number on your pharmacy card for more information.
- What if the Step Therapy request is not approved?
If the Step Therapy request is denied, you will be responsible for the full cost of your prescription at the pharmacy. You may still fill your prescription, but your copay will not apply.
- Where can I get more help?
Visit www.EmpiRxHealth.com. You may also call EmpiRx Health Member Services at 1-877-241-7123.
- Why is my claim not paid?
- Check the exclusion code on your Explanation of Benefits. It is located to the right of the member balance column.
- I received my medical claim from the Fund Office in the mail, and it said the Fund Office needed information regarding an accident or work related injury. The next week, another claim came for the same emergency room visit and asked me the same question again. Why do I have to keep answering the same question over and over?
- You only need to respond once. Sometimes the emergency room or other medical provider bills for services separately and the claims are processed by the Fund on different days. If your response is not yet entered into our system when additional claims are processed, another request is produced asking for the same information again. You can email us to see if we have received your response. Please include your unique identification number with all inquiries.
- Are there any time limits with respect to getting benefits from the health plan?
- Yes, your medical provider must file a claim within 15 months of your date of service. If the Fund Office needs to obtain more information from you, such as inquire about other insurance, question about if the reason you went to the emergency room or doctor is because of an accident or work related injury, etc., you have 60 days to respond back to the Fund Office. Please refer to the next question regarding appeals.
- How do I appeal a denied claim?
- You have the right to appeal any claim that has been denied. A notice of appeal must be received by the Fund Office no later than 180 days after receipt by the claimant of a denial of the claim. Your appeal is considered to have been filed on the date the written notice of appeal is received by the Fund Office. The appeal should state why you feel the claim was unjustly denied in accordance with the Plan.
- What should I do if I get hurt at work?
- Report your injury to your supervisor; also please make the Fund Office Medical Claims department aware that your injury was work related by calling 630-920-1939.
- What happens if Work Comp denies my claim?
- Please notify the Fund Office Medical Claims department right away of any Work Comp issues. If Work Comp denies your claims, send a copy of the letter of denial to the Fund Office Medical Claims department.
- What is Subrogation?
- Subrogation is when a third party may be legally responsible for paying medical expenses. This is why we ask you if your claim was related to an accident. The Fund Office Medical Claims department will send a subrogation packet to be completed and signed by the member/attorney in cases where a third party may be responsible. The Fund will not pay benefits on the claim unless the returned subrogation agreement is completely filled out and signed. Please remember to do so within 60 days.
- What is pre-cert?
- Many health services need to be "pre-certified" before you obtain them. Pre-certification is done by our medical review board, Med-Care Management. Med-Care Management can be contacted by you, your doctor, or the hospital prior to any services by calling 1- 800-367-1934. Such services include inpatient hospitalizations, durable medical equipment (over $500), surgeries, prosthetics, injectable drugs, orthotics, home health care, cardiac rehabilitation, skilled nursing, speech therapy, IV infusion and IV antibiotics, infertility (for related injectables and procedures only), sleep studies & C-Pap supplies. Neglecting to pre-certify when it is required will result in penalties. See your Summary Plan description for further information.
- How do I know if my provider is in network?
- Contact Blue Cross Blue Shield at 1-800-810-2583 or go to www.bcbsil.com to search for a provider.
- How do I apply for Welfare Disability/Loss of Time Benefits?
- Please contact the Fund Office at 630-887-4150 to request a disability claim form, or print one out here. The returned disability claim form must be completely filled out and signed by the member, employer and physician in order to be processed.
- I started working in the 1980’s, but when I looked at my work history in the member portal of this website, it only shows my pension time going back to 1993? Where is my pension time prior to 1993?
- If you have Pension time prior to 1993, you will be able to see it under “View Pension Lifetime History” as well as in “View your Pension Statement” under the “View Plan-Specific Information” section. You will not be able to view anything prior to 1993 in the “View Work History” section.
- Can I borrow against my Pension?
- Our pension plans are not the type you can borrow from. Our plans are designed to pay a monthly benefit when you are eligible to retire.
- Can I get a lump sum payout from my Pension?
- Our plans do not permit a lump sum. You will receive a monthly benefit when you have met the age and service requirements for a Pension and are no longer working in disqualifying employment.
- Can I roll my pension over into a personal IRA?
- Our Plans are not the type of programs that have lump sums (see above) to roll over to an IRA.
- Where can I get a scholarship application?
- Applications will be available at www.ibt731funds.org under the Scholarship Fund Tab or under Forms & Notices.
- When are scholarships decided?
- The announcement for 2023 Scholarships will be made on April 15, 2024.
- Where can the app be downloaded?
- Simply go to the Google Play Store if you have an Android phone, or the App Store if you have an iPhone and search for "Viveka Health."
- What are some of the features available on the mobile app?
- The app allows users to:
- The app offers digital copies of members insurance cards, that can be emailed instantly to doctors, or pharmacists. Members will never have to worry about leaving their insurance cards at home again!
- The app lists Rx history, this is helpful in a doctor’s office in case the member forgets past medication they were on or are currently on.
- Members can save a trip to the Fund office with the apps ability to upload required documents instantly.
- Members can use the built in GPS feature to locate the nearest medical, dental, or vision facility!
- Members can receive electronic updates from the Fund office instead of in the mail.
- I have an iPhone 6 and receive the following message when trying to download the app: "This application requires iOS 13.0 or later. You must update to iOS 13.0 in order to download and use this application."
- The iOS 13.0 update is only available on iPhone 7s and higher. Apple restricts older models from being updated as they can no longer sync with some of the security updates included newer iOS. Since our app contains benefit information, it's very important that phones have the latest security updates that come with the iOS-13 update, in order to protect electronic Personal Health Information (ePHI).
- How do I add dependents?
- On the app homepage you will see a circle with your picture, to the right of that is a green circle with a +, if you click that you will be prompted to enter the dependents DOB and SSN. Please make sure this is entered correctly, if off by one digit it will not allow them to be added.
- How do I upload documents the Fund office is requesting?
- In the upper left-hand corner of the Viveka app homepage you will see three horizontal lines, tap this and a drop-down menu will appear. Tap:
- Take photo and send to administrator
- Select the location of the document
- Add the document
- Select the document type from the dropdown
- Tap OK.