Graduating students may lose benefits along with dependent status

Graduating students may lose benefits along with dependent status

From Human Resources

Do you have a child graduating from college in December? If so, that child will no longer qualify as a dependent, for purposes of medical and dental coverage. To ensure that your child is not left without coverage, please notify the Benefits Office in the Human Resources Department. E-mail or call Jeanne Kittleson, (651) 962-6497 for assistance.

Federal and state laws hold you responsible for notifying UST within 60 days of the “qualifying event.” For dependent children, qualifying events include attaining age 19, or upon attaining age 25 if the dependent is a full-time student. Note: There are other events that require you to take action, but this article is addressing only the loss of dependent status issue.

Within 14 days of notifying the Benefits Office of your child losing dependent status, COBRA papers that explain continuation rights will be mailed to the “former” dependent child. ARC, UST’s COBRA administrator, will mail the paperwork to the last known address. If there is an updated address, please let us know.

The Federal COBRA laws and state continuation laws allow children losing dependent status the opportunity to continue medical and/or dental coverage for up to 36 months at their own cost. Failure to give us notice of a qualifying event, within the 60-day period allowed, will result in the forfeiture of continuation rights for the child.

Dependent Optional Life Insurance through UnumProvident covers dependents to age 19, or to age 26 if a full-time student. If you have elected this coverage, please review the situation with your children and have them determine if they want to continue the coverage. Optional Life Insurance continuation options will be included in the COBRA paperwork, which will be sent to the “former” dependent child. You are able to continue coverage for your other remaining eligible dependents.

Please note there are a number of employee notification responsibilities. If you are unfamiliar with your other responsibilities, please go to the Human Resources Department Web page or contact one of the Benefits Team members of HR for another copy of the COBRA notice. This notice outlines various actions you must take upon the occurrence of certain events.