Eastern Michigan University

Human Resources

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Benefits

Develops, implements, counsels and enrolls all faculty and staff in specific benefit programs. Processes all benefit claims. Administers the employee tuition waiver program. Administers all University retirement programs and processes tax deferred annuity plans.

Human Resources people

Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)

MEMORANDUM

TO:              New Staff and Faculty Members

FROM:         Benefits Office

RE:               Continuation of Health and Dental Coverage (COBRA)

In 1986 a Federal Law was enacted (Public Law 99-272. Title X) requiring employers sponsoring group health plans to offer employees and their families the opportunity for a temporary extension of health coverage (called" continuation coverage") at group rates in certain instances where coverage under the plan would otherwise end. This notice is intended to inform you of your rights and obligations under the continuation coverage provisions law. Both you and your spouse, if applicable, should take time to read this notice carefully.

An employee of Eastern Michigan University as well as his/her spouse covered by the medical and /or dental plan has the right to choose this continuation coverage for a period of eighteen (18) months if the employee loses group health coverage because of a reduction in employment hours or the termination of employment (for reasons other than gross misconduct).

Individuals (employees or their family members) who become disabled within 60 days of COBRA coverage can request an extension of an additional eleven (11) months of coverage beyond the original period of 18 months.

The spouse and dependents of an employee covered by the medical and/or dental plan have the right to choose continuation coverage for a period of thirty-six (36) months if he or she loses health coverage under the plan(s) for any of the following reasons:

  • The death of a spouse or parent;
  • Divorce or legal separation from spouse;
  • The dependent ceases to be a "dependent child" under the plan(s).

Under the law, the employee or a family member is responsible for informing Eastern Michigan University of a divorce, legal separation, or a child losing dependent status under the plan(s).

When the Eastern Michigan University Benefits Office is informed of these events, they will notify you that you have the right to choose continuation coverage. You have 60 days from the date coverage terminated to inform Eastern Michigan University that you want continuation coverage. If you do not choose continuation coverage, your group health insurance will end.

The Law also provides that continuation coverage may be cut short for any of the following four reasons:

  • Eastern Michigan University no longer provides group health coverage for any of its employees;
  • The premium for your continuation coverage is not paid;
  • You become covered under a new group plan after the election of COBRA coverage and only if that coverage contains no pre-existing condition limitation;
  • You were divorced from a covered employee and subsequently remarry and are covered under your new spouse's health plan.

Once coverage under COBRA has been terminated, it will not be reinstated.

You will be required to pay the entire premium plus a 2% administrative fee for your continuation coverage. At the end of eighteen (18) month or (36) month continuation period, you may apply for an individual coverage health plan as provided under the applicable health carrier's plan if it is available at that time. Currently there is no individual Dental plan available.

Questions about COBRA should be directed to the Benefits Office, Eastern Michigan University, 140 McKenny Hall, Ypsilanti, MI – 48197 (734-487-3195). Also, notify the Benefits Office of any address changes or marital status changes.