Insurance Continuation (COBRA)
Under Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), created by federal law, employees and their covered dependents have the right to continue medical/dental coverage under the employer’s group plan at their own exoense for a limited period following a "qualifying event". Under the Plan, qualified beneficiaries who elect COBRA continuation coverage must pay for COBRA continuation coverage. The medical/dental plan benefits under COBRA are identical to those provided for employees of the district. Below is a list of the most common COBRA qualifying events:
- Separation of Employment: When an employee separates from employment, s/he is no longer eligible for coverage on our group plans effective the first of the month following his/her last day of work. However the employee has the right to continue coverage at his/her own expense under COBRA for up to 18 months (or 29 months in the case of a disability). A COBRA Notification letter will be issued to employees upon separation explaining this option.
- Leave of Absence: With the exception of approved leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the Vermont Parental and Family Leave Law (VPFL), an employee who is on an unpaid leave of absence for longer than two weeks is no longer eligible for coverage on our group plans effective the first of the month following the date the unpaid leave began. The employee has the right to continue coverage at his/her own expense under COBRA for up to 18 months (or 29 months in the case of disability). The employee can re-enroll on our group plan effective the first of the month following return from his/her approved unpaid leave. To re-enroll, the employee must complete and submit an enrollment form prior to the effective date of coverage. If the unpaid leave begins and ends during the same month, coverage is unaffected.
- Divorce (see above)
- Dependent loses eligibility (see above)
- Reduction in hours resulting in the employee no longer qualifying for insurance benefits per the employee's contract
For additional information about your rights and obligations under COBRA, or for a list of qualifying events, please refer to the COBRA Rights Notice.
A COBRA Election Notice will be distributed to the employee and/or qualified beneficiary upon notice of a qualified event. This document contains the election form, due dates, cost of coverage and other terms and conditions.