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Benefit Update

If tomorrow you found out you had cancer, what would you do? If you're in the Empire Plan, you have access to special Cancer Resource Services (CRS) that you may not know about. The program provides paid-in-full coverage for cancer-related expenses received through a select group of providers recognized as leaders in cancer treatment.

CRS is staffed by experienced cancer nurses who can explain treatment options and help you choose the best physician and cancer center for a specific type of cancer.
The CRS network includes the nation’s leading cancer Centers of Excellence, such as Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. At these Centers, you receive paid-in-full benefits for covered services. No co-payments apply. For more information visit the Cancer Resource Services web site at www.urncrs.com.
The CRS network includes the nation’s leading cancer Centers of Excellence, such as Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. At these Centers, you receive paid-in-full benefits for covered services. No co-payments apply. For more information visit the Cancer Resource Services web site at www.urncrs.com.
The CRS network includes the nation’s leading cancer Centers of Excellence, such as Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. At these Centers, you receive paid-in-full benefits for covered services. No co-payments apply. For more information visit the Cancer Resource Services web site at www.urncrs.com.

Travel Expenses Covered

If the Center of Excellence chosen is more than 100 miles from the patient's home, reimbursement for travel, meal and lodging expenses is available to the patient and a companion. Available coach airfare is covered as part of the travel benefit when the Center is more than 200 miles from the patient's home. Covered travel expenses are reimbursed in accordance with federal guidelines.

Using a Center of Excellence for treatment is completely voluntary. If you decide to receive treatment from a different provider, your Empire Plan benefits are not diminished in any way. Remember to ask for an Empire Plan participating provider to minimize your out-of-pocket costs. When you use a non-participating provider, the Basic Medical deductible and coinsurance apply.  

How to Enroll

To participate in the Centers of Excellence for Cancer Program, call The Empire Plan toll-free at 1-877-7NYSHIP or 1-877-769-7447 and select United Health Care. Then choose Cancer Resource Services to connect to a CRS nurse consultant. CRS nurse consultants can answer your cancer-related questions and help you understand your diagnosis and treatment options. Call between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday except holidays. If you are currently receiving cancer treatment from a Center of Excellence and you have never made the call to enroll in the Centers of Excellence for Cancer Program, you must call CRS to receive the paid-in-full benefits. 

Note: Cancer Treatment and Transplants

If you are enrolled in the Centers of Excellence for Cancer Program, you have paid-in-full benefits for your cancer treatment with the exception of transplants. The Empire Plan offers paid-in-full transplant services under the Centers of Excellence for Transplants Program. Because the networks for these two programs are different, the Center of Excellence you are using for your cancer treatment may not also be a Center of Excellence for Transplants. And, this may result in out-of-pocket expenses for you. To receive the maximum benefit, contact Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield at The Empire Plan toll-free at 1-877-7NYSHIP or 1-877-769-7447 as soon as you are identified as a candidate for transplant.

See a list of Centers of Excellence for Cancer or visit the CRS web site at www.urncrs.com for more information


online PEF training

PEF launches new online training program

PEF leaders realize that with time demands on everyone, it’s sometimes difficult to attend union training programs. To keep the PEF membership in-step with the newest training opportunities, an online program has been launched on the PEF Web site. It is available to PEF elected leaders, stewards, delegates and members to use to begin to learn about the PEF/NYS contract. The program presents information on negotiated agreements in general, and provides a broad introductory overview of the actual contents of the collective bargaining agreement. You may access this program by visiting the PEF Web site at www.pef.org, click on the Training and Education link, then click on the PEF training center button. 

Or go directly to the training site at:  

PEF Online Training Center

PEF has also produced a CD version of this training program that can be used without being online. To request a copy of the CD, contact the PEF Education Department at 1-800-342-4306 ext. 328.

FREE Financial Counseling Services



Access to Stacey Braun Web Site


PEF members will also have
free access to the Stacey Braun Financial Counseling web site.  You can visit them at:

The user name and password for Region 5:

Username: region5
Password:  pefmb

NOTE: The user name is case sensitive.  Please use lower case.



Below is a memo I received today [12/09/05]  from President Benson:


 TO:  Executive Board Members
Council Leaders
        Regions 1-7 Stewards

 DATE:  December 7, 2005

 SUBJ: Financial Counseling Debt Consolidation Program (Advance Notice)

 The PEF Membership Benefits Program Trustees have announced that the pilot program of financial counseling and debt consolidation has proved to be a valuable benefit and the New York City based firm is now ready to provide this benefit statewide. Accordingly, the Trustees have voted to expand this free benefit to PEF members in Regions 1-7.

 The firm of Stacey Braun Associates, Inc. has successfully served as the PEF Membership Benefits Program's investment advisor for over 15 years. Stacey Braun's professionals are available to work with our members to provide objective and unbiased advice. The entire funding for this program is paid by the PEF Membership Benefits Program and not from any of the investment products Stacey Braun may recommend.

 In addition to the free counseling service, PEF members will also have free access to the Stacey Braun Financial Counseling web site. Questions regarding this new membership benefit may be referred to PEF Membership Benefits Program at 518-785-1900, ext. 243 or 1-800-342-4306, ext. 243.

 Roger E. Benson

cc:  MBP Trustees: 
        Jane Hallum

  My hat is off to PEF and it's staff for another GREAT Benefit for our members.  I contacted Stacey Braun Associates today to receive additional information to pass on to our members. 

 This benefit will begin January 1, 2006.  This "FREE" benefit provides for a 1 hour in person consultation or you may also call them with a few questions.  They do NOT sell a product but assist you in a personal and confidential manner re: investments, retirement, Debt, Retirements, mortgage rates, etc.

 I will be setting up some dates and times where the representatives will come to our office and you will be able to make an appointment with them.  In addition, they are setting up a "User Name" and "Password" for our members to access their web site.  I will have more information for you next week, and will pass it out as soon as I have it.

 If you have any questions, please let me know.


NEW FREE PSTP Online Courses


A Memo was received today from President Roger Benson announcing free online course for PEF represented employees in the PS&T Bargaining Unit.


PEF and the Governors' Office of Employees Relations [GOER], through the New York State/Public Employees Federation Professional Development Committee [PDC], has partnered with Binghamton University to offer continuing education online courses FREE of charge to NYS Employees in the PS&T Unit.  These course are funded by the Public Service Training Program, Article 15.3 of the State/PEF Agreement.  


To see the memo, please click below:




To see the course, please click below:




To obtain all of the information and apply for the course, please visit this web site at:


Courses for New York State Employees in the PS&T






PEF's ALL NEW FREE legal plan [Effective January 1, 2006] for all members was announced at the convention this year.  The PEF Membership Benefits Program has engaged the law firm of Feldman, Kramer and Monaco, P.C. - a leader in the field of providing legal plan services to union members and their families - to help with your legal needs.  Through it's National Legal Office (NLO), attorneys will be available to answer legal questions, write letters and review documents relating to personal legal matters - all in the strictest of confidence. 


The PEF Membership Benefits Program serves as the administrator for the Legal Plan and the members' point-of-entry for participation in it.  Membership Benefits will assure that all members have access to the plan and will monitor it to assure that members are being assisted in a timely and professional fashion.  Membership Benefits is also on the job to help any members who needs additional assistance.


If you want to join the current PEF Legal Service Plan, you must do so by December 1, 2005.  The annual cost is $70/year - ($65 payroll deduction).  Click here:   

for the comparison from the current program to the NEW FREE Legal Plan that will be in effect January 1, 2006.  


We will be passing out pamphlets the first week of


  If you have questions regarding this program, please e-mail us or call PEF Membership Benefits at:


1-800-342-4306 - Ext. 243


·        Now you can book your vacation on-line with PEF Travel


PEF Members can now research and book a cruise or travel package on-line with PEF Travel Corp.  Visit  www.peftravel.com  and click on “Plan Your Next Cruise” or “Plan Your Next Get-Away”.  You will be able to research most cruise lines, vacation destinations, hotels, prices, and availability.  You can then complete the booking on PEF Travel’s secure site or you can call PEF Travel to have one of their consultants do the work!       


Remember -- PEF members receive a 5% rebate on cruise packages booked through PEF Travel Corp. or on-line at www.peftravel.com .  Be sure to check out our “Cruise Specials” for cruises with extra amenities.



  • Term Life Insurance Open Enrollment – Limited Time Offer


PEF Members can purchase a PEF/Hartford $20,000 Term Life Policy from 4/1/05 5/31/05 with no medical questions asked or physicals required. 


Current participants in our PEF/Hartford Term Life program can use this open enrollment to increase their current coverage by one level without having to complete a medical questionnaire. 


For an application form, send a request to mbrequests@pef.org .  Remember – all applications must be received in our office by 5/31/05 to be accepted under this open enrollment.  Questions can be answered by calling PEF Membership Benefits Program at 800 342-4306, ext. 243.





 Hockey  Tickets are now available through Membership Benefits. 


BInghamton Senator Tickets


  • Baseball Ticket Discounts 


Baseball Tickets are now available through Membership Benefits.  For the 2005 season, we will be selling discount vouchers for the following local baseball teams:


    • Rochester Red Wings
    • Buffalo Bisons
    • Syracuse Skychiefs
    • Binghamton Mets
    • Tri-City Valley Cats
    • Hudson Valley Renegades 
    • Batavia Muckdogs
    • Hudson Valley Renegades


 www.pefmembershipbenefits.com for prices.


·       New discount movie tickets available


Membership Benefits is now selling discount movie tickets for Cinemark and Marquee Cinemas.  In addition, we will be selling Galaxy Unrestricted tickets for Loews/Cineplex/Magic Johnson theatres.  For a complete listing of all of our movie ticket discounts, visit www.pefmembershipbenefits.com.


·       April’s Benefit of the Month – Term Life Insurance


Visit our website at www.pefmembershipbenefits.com to sign up for our April Benefit of the Month drawing – featuring Term Life Insurance.  The April Benefit of the Month prize will be a Pocket PC.  If you are enrolled in our Term Life Insurance, you will be automatically entered into this free drawing.


·       Albany Conquest Discount Tickets


Membership Benefits will be selling discount Albany Conquest vouchers for only $7.00.  These vouchers can be used to purchase Lower Level Corner tickets for any of the regular home games at the Pepsi Arena.  For information on purchasing tickets visit www.pefmembershipbenefits.com and click on limited time offers.



·       Lime Rock Park , Lakeville Connecticut


Lime Rock Road Racing Center is offering PEF members discount tickets for several 2005 racing events.  For details, visit our website at www.pefmembershipbenefits.com and click on “Limited Time Offers”.



For additional information on these benefits you can contact our office at 800 342-4306, ext. 243 or visit us on-line at www.pefmembershipbenefits.com


PEF Membership Benefits Program

PO Box 12414

Albany , NY   12212

Citizen Action Fuel Group (CAFG) is a non-profit fuel buying group sponsored by Citizen Action of New York. We have been helping New Yorkers save on their home heating oil costs for over 17 years. We use mass purchasing power to lower prices for our members. CAFG members can save as much as fifteen cents per gallon on fuel oil and kerosene.

CAFG serves 22 counties in New York State. dealers providing full service, including automatic delivery, budget plans (to avoid huge bills in the middle of the winter), and 24-hour burner service. Service contracts are available in most areas at additional cost.


There is a $25 Membership that is WAIVED for PEF Members.

Click the Picture Below for an Application


Fax your application to:  518-465-2890

To read the "CAFG Application", you must have Adobe Reader.  If you do not, please click below to download Adobe Reader for "FREE"

Click here for Adobe Reader

You must send a copy of your PEF Card or a copy of your paycheck showing the dues withdrawal [Black out your other items]  If you need a new PEF Card, please let us know and we will help you get one. 

Economy Heating is used for Broome County.  You can obtain additional information at:
or call 800-559-4645

Wireless Phone Discounts For New York State Employees

New York State employees are eligible for wireless phone discounts with the following carriers:


20% discount on service plans.  Additional discounts on equipment.  for details call 800 388-3235 or visit the Cingular [formerly AT&T]  Wireless store near you.  You will need to supply discount code -- GSM-82898 or TDMA-82891

For additional information visit:



Store locator for Cingular:  www.Cingular.com/ 


 Call Membership Benefits Program
800 342-4306 ext. 243

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Last modified: May 29, 2012

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