Will your dependent child soon change insurance status?
Attention faculty and staff with dependents: Do you have a child graduating from college in May, graduating from high school and not planning to enter college in the fall, or taking more than one term off from full-time college? 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, you need to notify the Benefits Team of the Human Resources Department. E-mail or call Jeanne Kittleson, (651) 962-6497.
Federal and state laws hold you responsible for notifying St. Thomas within 60 days of the “qualifying event.” For dependent children, qualifying events include (but are not limited to) 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.
After notifying the St. Thomas Benefits Team of your child losing dependent status, COBRA papers will be mailed to the “former” dependent child that explain continuation rights. ARC, the UST COBRA administrator, will mail the paperwork to the “former” dependent’s last known address. If there is an updated address, let St. Thomas know.
The Federal COBRA laws and state continuation laws, allow the child losing dependent status the opportunity to continue medical and/or dental coverage, for up to 36 months at their own cost. Failure to notify the Benefits Team of a qualifying event, within the 60 day time 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 they are full-time students. If you have elected this coverage, review the situation with your child and have him or her determine if they want to continue the coverage. Optional Life Insurance continuation options, if applicable, 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 dependents, as long as they remain eligible for the coverage.
Note that there are a number of employee notification responsibilities. If you are unfamiliar with your other responsibilities, go to the Human Resources Department Web page or contact one of the Benefits Team members for a copy of the COBRA Notice. This notice outlines various actions you must take upon the occurrence of certain events.