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Health Benefits

Manage your benefits

Explore your benefits

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Choose from two dental plans offered by the UFT Welfare Fund.

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As a member of the UFT Welfare Fund, you and your eligible dependents can obtain optical services once every two years.

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Hearing aid

All eligible UFT Welfare Fund members and dependents are covered for hearing aid benefits.

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Coordination of benefits

When your spouse or domestic partner is also a UFT member, you will have certain enhanced Welfare Fund benefits.

Which health plan is right for you?

As a UFT member, you have a comprehensive health benefits package with a range of city health plans to choose from.

Compare city health plans

New and noteworthy


FSA enrollment period

The city's open enrollment period for Flexible Spending Accounts, which allows employees to deposit a portion of their pre-tax income into accounts maintained for certain health and dependent care expenses, has been changed: Oct. 1, 2019 through Nov. 15, 2019 for the plan year 2020. 

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MSK Direct cancer care

MSK Direct is a program that offers guided access to expert cancer treatment for UFT members, retirees and their family members. 

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the open enrollment period that allows in-service employees to make changes to their health benefits for 2020?

Open enrollment for in-service members (dates are different for retirees) takes place from Friday, Nov. 1, to Saturday, Nov. 30. All changes made during this open enrollment period will be effective Jan. 1, 2020.

During this window, employees may make changes to their existing health care benefits, such as transfer into any city health plan for which they are eligible, add or drop the Optional Rider, or add or drop dependent(s).

For changes to be made at other times of the year, a qualifying event must occur, such as a marriage, birth, adoption, etc., and even for those times, deadlines apply.

Does the union offer psychological counseling/support groups for members?

Yes, the union's Member Assistance Program (MAP) has trained professional counselors who can guide you through the problems that can put your health and job in jeopardy. Our services are free, confidential, professional and supportive.

As a UFT member, you may receive short-term individual counseling a trained licensed mental health professional through MAP. MAP also offers referrals to outside mental health services that accept your insurance plan. 

Please call MAP at 212-701-9620 to set up an appointment. You can also contact us via email at

In case of an emergency, please call 911. If you need help after hours, please call 1-800-LIFENET, a 24-hour city mental health hotline. 

Am I eligible for prescription drug coverage? Is there a waiting period?

All eligible in-service UFT members and their dependents have prescription drug coverage through the UFT Welfare Fund. There are no waiting periods for this coverage.

In fact, after enrolling in the Welfare Fund, newly enrolled members who are awaiting their Welfare Fund Express Scripts (ESI) Prescription ID drug cards can purchase the prescription drugs they need and, once their cards arrive, submit the original receipts to the Welfare Fund for reimbursement.

When can I change my dental plan? I do not like the option I have.

The open enrollment period to change plans is Sept.1 - Oct. 15; changes take effect on Nov. 1. 
The UFT Welfare Fund provides dental benefits through two programs: the Scheduled Benefit Plan, which provides services through the Welfare Fund panel of dentists or a dentist of your choice; and Dentcare, a no-cost dental HMO.

For more information about the two dental plans, visit the UFT website at:

How much will I pay for each prescription filled under our plan?

The Welfare Fund has a three-tier copay structure for generic, preferred-brand and nonpreferred-brand medications. You can save money by using generics (Tier 1) or preferred-brand medications (Tier 2) whenever possible, but this is a decision between you and your doctor. Nonpreferred brand-name drugs (Tier 3 - those not listed on the Fund's formulary) have the highest copays.

At the pharmacy, if your doctor has not indicated that the pharmacist must dispense a brand-name drug, you will get a 30-day supply of a generic drug for $5 provided there is one available. (If your doctor insists on a brand name, there will be a higher copay.) At the pharmacy, you can get the first fill of your prescription and up to two refills if your doctor has indicated extra refills. After three refills, you must use the ESI Home Delivery Service (delivered to your home) for a 90-day supply of your maintenance medications (not controlled drugs).