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Grant helps retired BCTGM member pay big medical bills

Posted on November 20, 2012
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Nobody has ever had to sell George Campbell on the benefits of being a union member. The former maintenance mechanic is quick to credit his union â€"BCTGMâ€" for allowing him to cover expensive orthodontic treatment for his children, pay for scores of medical bills over the years, and count on a steady paycheck throughout his working life. But more than 20 years after joining his union, Campbell discovered a new reason why it pays to be part of the labor movement, Union Plus Hospital Grants.

Hospital Grants, offered through Union Plus, are among the latest benefits introduced to help union members cope with financial difficulties related to health care, education, and disability/job loss. The Hospital Grants, which never need to be repaid, provide money to help union members deal with high out-of-pocket medical bills and reduce the stress that accompanies health care debt.

"I am very grateful for the Union Plus grant. It helped me pay off some doctor and hospital bills, which, of course, relieved a lot of anxiety," says Campbell. Grants are available to union members with a Union Plus Credit Card, Union Plus Insurance policy or a Union Plus Mortgage.

Hospitalization impacts more than just the individual patient. The financial and emotional support of friends and family is critical, but it is often not enough. Campbell's daughter Sandy Conley says, "It is comforting to know the union is still trying to look out for my father as a union member. I appreciate the Union Plus staff for the help and the prompt delivery of this grant to my father."

The Union Plus Hospital Grants are part of a safety net initiative by Union Plus to assist union members cope with a lagging U.S. economy. Since Union Plus Assistance began, over $5 million has been distributed to union members facing financial hardship due to job loss, layoff, disability, large hospital bills and mortgage payment problems.

Millions of other Americans know first-hand how easy it is for out-of-pocket costs to soar. In determining eligibility for a Union Plus Hospital Grant, out-of-pocket hospital expenses include insurance deductibles, hospital charges, physician charges, medications, and other medical expenses included during the hospital stay.

"I certainly appreciate the staff of Union Plus being so helpful to me and getting the grant to me quickly. I am thankful that someone was thinking of me and trying to help me," says Campbell, who worked for 22 ½ years at the Rainbo Bakery processing plant in his hometown of Johnson City, TN.

Those interested in applying for a Hospital Grant must be a Union Plus or Teamster Privilege Credit Card cardholder, have a Union Plus Insurance policy or carry a Union Plus Mortgage.

Visit UnionPlus.org/Assistance for more information on hospital, layoff and disability grants available to Union Plus program participants.

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Union members are automatically eligible for their union's Union Plus benefits and you do not need to be a Union Plus Credit Cardholder in order to access your union's Union Plus benefits.

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