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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

Medical Learning Series

MSK Direct gives UFT members access to a dedicated cancer specialists.

Updates in the Medical Treatment of Breast Cancer

Dr. Larry Norton, the deputy physician-in-chief for breast cancer programs at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, will review the latest developments in breast cancer treatment. To register, please call the Health and Cancer Helpline at 212-539-0515.

  • Date: Thursday, Nov. 7
  • Time: 6 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Location: UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 19th floor, rooms D/E
Paraprofessional Margaret Ward of PS 146, Brooklyn, joins other volunteers servi

Staying Healthy Around the Holidays

Join Memorial Sloan Kettering's registered dietitian Cara Anselmo as she shares tips on how to eat healthfully and still have fun with friends and family during the busy holiday season. To register, please call the Health and Cancer Helpline at 212-539-0515.

  • Date: Tuesday, Dec. 3
  • Time: 5 to 7 p.m.
  • Location: UFT headquarters, 52 Broadway, 19th floor, rooms B/C

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

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).

I am concerned because I have high prescription drug costs for my family. What can I do?

There are two components to the Welfare Fund's plan that affect families with high drug expenses. These are the $1,000 copay cap and the Cost Care Program.

The trustees of the UFT Welfare Fund have instituted a copay cap for all eligible members and their families. Once your family's copays reach $1,000 in out-of-pocket expenditures, the rest of your drugs in Tier 1 and Tier 2 are free for the year. Copays must still be paid for Tier 3 drugs.

Families whose combined prescription-drug claim benefits exceed $1,200 (the total cost of the drugs paid for by the Welfare Fund) during the previous months of December through November automatically are enrolled in the Welfare Fund's Cost Care Program effective in January and receive a Cost Care drug card. (For members and an in-service spouse or domestic partner who is also a member, the threshold is $2,400, due to the special coordination of benefits.)

When a brand-name drug has an approved generic equivalent, you can still get the brand-name drug but you are responsible for the difference in cost between the two drugs in addition to the applicable copays (until you hit the $1,000 annual copay cap).

This difference is known as an ancillary fee and will be charged to you even if you hit the $1,000 copay cap. Your family's status is reviewed every 12 months; if your total claims fall below $1,200 ($2,400 for members with special coordination of benefits), you return automatically to the regular drug plan the following January.