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UFT Welfare Fund

Beyond the medical and hospitalization benefits you receive through the city’s health plans, you also have an array of additional benefits through the UFT Welfare Fund, including dental, optical, hearing and prescription drugs.

You must enroll in the Welfare Fund separately from enrolling in a health plan. There are no waiting periods for benefits once you enroll as an eligible member.

The fastest and easiest way to enroll is online.

Our video demonstrates how to create and access your UFT account or you can see our enrollment guide for step-by-step instructions.

Alternatively, your UFT chapter leader has Welfare Fund enrollment forms. Mail one directly to the Welfare Fund at the address on the form.

Within two weeks of enrolling, you should receive:

  • A UFT Welfare Fund drug card, which is your identification for purchasing prescription drugs. Call the Welfare Fund if your card is delayed. Your name will be the only one listed on the card, although the names of your eligible dependents will appear on the pharmacist’s screen. You are covered as soon as you enroll and will be reimbursed if you need to fill a prescription before your card arrives.
  • A booklet called “The Red Apple,” which describes the full range of your benefits. It’s available online.

Prescription drug plan

This plan covers prescription drugs (but not those sold over the counter). When you need to fill a prescription, go to a participating pharmacy, show your UFT Welfare Fund drug card, and pay a co-payment.

For a 30-day supply, the Fund has three tiers of co-payment:

  • Generic: $5
  • Preferred brand: $15
  • Non-preferred brand: $35.

Be sure to save receipts for prescription drugs you paid for before receiving your drug card so you can be reimbursed.

After filling 90 days of maintenance medication locally, mail order is mandatory. Your doctor must submit your prescriptions electronically, so ask your doctor to order your 90-day supply directly from the Express Scripts Home Delivery Service at 800-723-9182.

The UFT Welfare Fund Drug formulary is a great tool for understanding whether a prescription drug is covered and how to obtain it.

Dental plan

Through the Welfare Fund you can choose between two plans:

  • A dental HMO (Dentcare) with no co-payment or
  • A Scheduled Benefit Plan that allows you to use participating dentists (at no charge or with a small co-payment) or nonparticipating dentists with reimbursement according to the fee schedule.

Optical plan

As a member of the UFT Welfare Fund, you and your covered dependents are entitled to an eye exam plus eyeglasses or contact lenses once every two years. Simply confirm your eligibility for benefits online and once completed, obtain services from a provider. If you are eligible for the optical benefit, you can make an appointment or walk in to a participating vision store for in-network coverage or use a nonparticipating vision provider of your choice for out-of-network coverage.

Hearing aids

Members are entitled to one hearing aid every three years.

Participating providers have agreed to give a minimum 25% discount off the cost of a hearing aid. The Fund will issue you a hearing aid voucher that explains the details of the plan. Members can order the voucher either online or by calling the hotline at 212-539-0539.

MSK partnership

The UFT Welfare Fund has partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to provide cancer-related services to members.

  • MSK Direct offers guided access to expert cancer treatment for UFT members, retirees and their family members. When you are faced with cancer, reliable information and comprehensive care coordination are crucial. The experts at MSK are there to help you understand the cancer treatment process and provide practical support during your treatment.
  • The MSK Cancer Screening Tool is a short, no-cost assessment to receive personal screening recommendations from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.  
  • MSK's Talking with Children About Cancer is a program designed to help adults communicate with children who have a loved one in their life with cancer. School staff are often the first to notice changes in student behavior or mood. Being a source of support and comfort during this challenging time is vital to a child's emotional well-being.

Members with a cancer diagnosis seeking additional support can also contact the UFT's Health and Cancer Helpline for assistance and resources. For further information about these programs, visit our MSK Direct web page or call 844-350-5034.

Additional benefits

The following Welfare Fund benefits are available only for you and not your dependents:

  • Disability insurance. Qualifying pedagogues may be covered for $475 per week for a maximum of 52 weeks ($375 per week for paraprofessionals). Call the UFT Welfare Fund at 212-539-0500 if you need an application or more details.
  • Death benefit. When you enroll in the UFT Welfare Fund, you should designate a beneficiary in case of death.
    • The younger you are, the higher the death benefit will be, starting at $30,000 and declining through the years.
    • This complements the death benefit that accrues through the pension system or any other life insurance you may have.

You can learn about all of your available benefits by reading the Red Apple benefit booklet or on the UFT Welfare Fund section of our website.

Change of address or status

If your address or marital status changes you can update it through the online “change of status” process, or ask your chapter leader for a blue “Change of Status” packet or phone the UFT Welfare Fund forms hotline at 1-212-539-0539.

When your spouse or domestic partner is also a UFT member

If you and your spouse or domestic partner are both UFT members, you don’t have to choose one or the other’s benefits — you have the advantage of both when it comes to certain UFT Welfare Fund benefits. With special coordination of benefits, you can receive enhanced dental, optical and hearing aid benefits from each other’s coverage.