COBRA Coverage Reminder

Posted on May 6, 2015 in . . . . .

In compliance with a federal law referred to as COBRA Continuation Coverage, this plan offers its eligible employees and their covered dependents (known as qualified beneficiaries) the opportunity to elect temporary continuation of their group health coverage when that coverage would otherwise end because of certain events (called qualifying events).

Qualified beneficiaries are entitled to elect COBRA when qualifying events occur, and, as a result of the qualifying event, coverage of that qualified beneficiary ends. Qualified beneficiaries who elect COBRA Continuation Coverage must pay for it at their own expense.

Qualifying events include termination of employment, reduction in hours of work making the employee ineligible for coverage, death of the employee, divorce/legal separation, or a child ceasing to be an eligible dependent child.

In addition to considering COBRA as a way to continue coverage, there may be other coverage options for you and your family. You may want to look for coverage through the Health Care Marketplace. See www.healthcare.gov. In the Marketplace, you could be eligible for a tax credit that lowers your monthly premiums for Marketplace coverage, and you can see what your premium, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs will be before you make a decision to enroll. Being eligible for COBRA does not limit your eligibility for coverage for a tax credit through the Marketplace. Additionally, you may qualify for a special enrollment opportunity for another group health plan for which you are eligible (such as a spouse’s plan) if you request enrollment within 30 days, even if the plan generally does not accept late enrollees.

The maximum period of COBRA coverage is generally either 18 months or 36 months, depending on which qualifying event occurred.

In order to have the chance to elect COBRA coverage after a divorce/legal separation or a child ceasing to be a dependent child under the plan, you and/or a family member must inform the plan in writing of that event no later than 60 days after that event occurs. That notice should be sent to the EUTF office via first class mail (address noted below) and is to include the employee’s name, the qualifying event, the date of the event, and the appropriate documentation in support of the qualifying event (such as divorce documents).

Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF)
201 Merchant Street Suite 1700
Honolulu Hawaii 96813

When you elect EUTF-sponsored health coverage, EUTF will provide you with a COBRA Initial Notice. If you have questions about COBRA or would like another copy of a COBRA Initial Notice please contact the EUTF Office at 808-586-7390 or toll-free at 800-295-0089.