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Health Benefits

UFT Welfare Fund offices are closed for in-person appointments and inquiries

The UFT Welfare Fund is open with full functionality and our health benefit representatives are here to assist you Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you require assistance, please call our main number at 212-539-0500. To request a form, please call our hotline at 212-539-0539.

You can also use the following email addresses to contact the Welfare Fund:

Should you require immediate assistance with a prescription drug issue outside of office hours, please call Express Scripts at 800-723-9182.

Manage your benefits

The Red Apple

Learn about the health benefits available to you and your family in the updated edition of the Red Apple.

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

2020 Prescription Benefit Records (PBR) Have Been Mailed

2020 UFT Welfare Fund Prescription Benefit Records (PBR) have been mailed to all covered in-service members. This document details all of the prescriptions you filled during the year. The PBR illustrates the value of our prescription coverage and the money the Welfare Fund paid on your behalf.  Please review this statement for accuracy. Should you find any discrepancies, please report them directly to the UFT Welfare Fund’s pharmacy department.

Easier access to your optical benefits

The UFT Welfare Fund has introduced a new digital process for providing your free or discounted eye exams, eyeglasses or contact lenses. Now, a quick three-step online process at will provide access to your optical benefits without the need for paper certificates. 

Frequently Asked Questions

A list of the most commonly asked questions.
If there are no more optical certificates, how will I access my benefits?

Eligibility information will be available electronically via and the GVS mobile app (coming soon on iOS or Android) as well as via a dedicated phone line at 212-729-5395. As always, you have the option to access your benefits either in-network, or out-of-network.


Information on your eligibility for benefits will be available not only to you and your dependents, but also to participating optical service providers. This will make it easier to schedule appointments and use your benefits for covered services at participating providers. Once you confirm your eligibility, you can contact a participating provider’s office to schedule an appointment, or walk in. Participating providers can verify eligibility for you and/or your covered dependents. These providers will offer you all of the program discounts and benefits to which you are entitled.


Once you confirm your eligibility (either at or on the GVS app), and obtain covered optical services at an out-of-network location (including online providers) you can submit a claim. As is the present case, you must provide a paid, itemized receipt and a copy of your prescription. These can be submitted electronically via or the GVS app. Alternatively, paper claims can be mailed to GVS.

Have our benefits in the optical program changed? Will these changes cost me anything?

These changes do not affect benefit levels or eligibility; they only serve to improve speed and ease of access by eliminating the need to wait for a paper optical certificate before you or your dependents access your benefits. This additional benefit (as with all other Welfare Fund benefits) is available at no additional cost to our enrolled members and their eligible dependents.

Why is the UFT changing its optical program? How will I benefit from these changes?

In partnership with our optical benefit administrator (General Vision Services / GVS) we are upgrading the optical program so you can obtain your benefits more quickly and conveniently. Removing the logistical limitations of obtaining an optical certificate will enhance the speed and accuracy of your access to services while further protecting the security of your personal health information. Other than the optical certificate itself, all of the other program elements which provide value to you are either unchanged, or enhanced.

These changes provide advantages to you at every stage of the process. First, you no longer need to obtain a physical certificate for optical services, so there's no need to wait for it to arrive by mail, and no risk of losing it. With new online access to services, you will be able to access your benefits more seamlessly and receive claim payments more quickly.

What do the GVS website and GVS mobile app do in regards to our optical benefits?

Both the GVS website and the GVS app (coming soon on iOS or Android)) allow you to verify eligibility for optical benefits, locate in-network providers, and submit claims.

How is the UFT's optical program changing? What will I have to do to obtain my benefits?

As of Feb. 1, 2021, UFT members will no longer be required to obtain a paper certificate in order to access optical benefits for yourself or your eligible dependents. Once you confirm your eligibility (either at or on the GVS app, coming soon on iOS or Android), you can contact a participating provider’s office to schedule an appointment (or simply walk in.)  In-network providers will offer you all applicable plan discounts and benefits, with no claims for you to file.  To obtain reimbursement for out of network services, as in the present case, you must provide a paid, itemized receipt and a copy of your prescription. These can be submitted electronically via the GVS website or the GVS app.  Alternatively, paper claims can be mailed to GVS.