The 1199SEIU Benefit Funds’ Fraud and Abuse Department has identified a telemarketing fraud scheme that has the potential to cost your Benefit Fund thousands of dollars–and could even leave you responsible for out-of-pocket costs. The scheme typically involves a phone call from someone saying that you can obtain a prescription cream to relieve joint and back pain, fully covered by your health plan–which is not true. The caller sets up a phone call with a doctor, who “prescribes” the pain cream and has it sent directly to your home. Remember: Teladoc is the Benefit Funds’ exclusive telemedicine provider; no other telemedicine provider is authorized to prescribe medication for 1199SEIU members.

If you are targeted, here’s what you can do to protect yourself–and the Benefit Funds–from fraud:

  • Do not share any personal information; firmly tell the caller you are not interested, and hang up.
  • Immediately report the incident to the Benefit Funds’ Fraud and Abuse Hotline by calling (646) 473-6148 or by emailing [email protected]. Include, if possible, the name and phone number of the caller.
  • If you receive any unwanted prescription medication in the mail, or by UPS or FedEx, call Express Scripts at (800) 818-6720.

When scams cost the Benefit Fund money, it causes costs to rise unnecessarily, which can affect how much is available for other benefits. Thank you for helping us protect your benefits.


Tips for Managing Back and Joint Pain

Most of us have experienced minor body aches, but chronic pain can be debilitating–and prescription creams are not the answer. Here are a few tips to help you prevent and manage back and joint pain:

  • Stay active and stretch regularly: Movement helps keep muscles engaged and may prevent tension or pain that can settle in with inactivity. Incorporate simple stretches into your day to avoid injury and improve your range of motion.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Carrying extra pounds can strain joints and muscles.
  • Improve your posture: Poor posture can cause neck strain, headaches, backaches and even breathing difficulties. Learning simple techniques to sit and stand without slouching can ease pain and even strengthen core muscles.


If these tips don’t offer any relief, your Benefit Fund covers licensed physical therapists who can provide alternative therapies and teach you exercises to help strengthen problem areas.