MMC Benefits Handbook
Employee Enrollment in COBRA Coverage
You must complete the COBRA enrollment form and return it as the form instructs.
You have 60 calendar days to elect COBRA from the later of (1) the date you receive notice of your right to COBRA coverage, or (2) the date coverage would otherwise end.
Notification of Qualifying Event
When do I have to provide notification of a qualifying event?
You or a family member must notify the Company of a divorce, legal separation or a child losing dependent status under the applicable plan within 60 calendar days of the qualifying event.
There are two ways to notify the Company and be eligible for COBRA coverage:
- within 30 calendar days of the event: by going to Colleague Connect (https://mmcglobal.sharepoint.com/sites/home), or
- after 30 calendar days, but within 60 calendar days of the later of the qualifying event or loss of coverage: Contact HR Services in writing at: HR Services, P.O. Box 622, Des Moines, IA 50306-0622. You will not be refunded any of your contributions if you notify the Company after 30 calendar days.
Note: If the Company is not notified within 60 calendar days of the event, your family member who loses coverage will not be offered the option to elect COBRA coverage.
If you fail to register the event and any claims are paid for expenses incurred after the date coverage would normally be lost because of divorce, legal separation or a child losing dependent status, you and your family must reimburse the plan for these claims.
The Company has 30 days to notify its COBRA Administrator of the qualifying event. You or your covered family member will be notified of the right to COBRA coverage within 14 days of the date the Company's COBRA Administrator has been notified of the qualifying event. A COBRA notification and enrollment form are mailed to you or your covered family members' last known address.
COBRA Effective Date
When will my COBRA coverage begin?
Once you choose COBRA, your COBRA coverage will be effective retroactive to the date you lost coverage.
You have to send your first payment for COBRA coverage within 45 days after you elected COBRA for your coverage to become effective. Your first payment has to include all of your back payments, beginning with the date you lost coverage because of a qualifying event, up to and including the month you send in your first payment.
Missed Enrollment Period
I didn't sign up for COBRA within the time limit; can I sign up now?
No, you can't sign up for COBRA once the 60 calendar day COBRA enrollment period ends.
If I do not continue all of the plans offered under COBRA, can I sign up for other plans later?
You can still add other coverage if you are within the 60 calendar day COBRA enrollment period. Once the 60 calendar day COBRA enrollment period ends, you can add or change plans during the Annual Enrollment period as long as you continue to be a COBRA participant.
Care Before Electing COBRA
What happens if one of my family members or I need medical or dental care after the qualifying event occurs but before I elect COBRA?
You will not have coverage until you or your covered family member elects COBRA and makes the required payments. Once the election and payments are made, your coverage will become effective, and any bills you received during this transition period will be processed under the rules for your plan as if you had coverage.
You may need to contact your plan to have your bills processed.
Disabled Employee COBRA Eligibility
If I am totally disabled when I qualify for COBRA coverage, what is the COBRA coverage period?
If you are disabled according to the Social Security Administration when you qualify for COBRA coverage or become disabled according to the Social Security Administration within the 60 calendar day COBRA election period, you and your covered family members can extend your COBRA coverage for an additional 11 months, for a total of 29 months from your qualifying event.
Note that your premiums are increased to 150% of the full group rate for those additional 11 months from the beginning of the 19th month through the end of the 29th month.
If a second qualifying event occurs within the first 18 months of the COBRA coverage, you pay the full group rate on an after-tax basis plus an additional two percent for administrative expenses from the beginning of the 19th month through the end of the 36th month. If a second qualifying event occurs within the 19th through 29th month of COBRA coverage extended for disability, your premiums will be increased by an additional 50 percent through the end of the 36th month.
Less Expensive Plan
Can I elect a less expensive plan now that I am eligible for COBRA coverage?
No, you cannot change plans outside of an Annual Enrollment period. However, when an Annual Enrollment period is made available to similarly-situated active employees, you and each covered family member can elect separately the plans under which COBRA is continued.
Revoking Waiver of COBRA Coverage
Can I revoke my waiver of COBRA coverage before the end of the COBRA election period?
If you waive COBRA coverage during the 60 calendar day election period, the waiver can be revoked at any time before the end of the election period. Revocation of the waiver is an election of COBRA coverage, although coverage need not be provided retroactively (that is, you may not be granted coverage from the date of your loss of coverage until the date you revoke your waiver).
Re-enrolling in COBRA
Can I re-enroll in COBRA if I dropped COBRA coverage?
You can re-enroll if you are still within the 60 calendar day COBRA enrollment period. Once the 60 calendar day COBRA enrollment period ends, you can't enroll or re-enroll for COBRA coverage.
Plan Coverage During COBRA
Will my coverage under my plan be the same while I am on COBRA coverage?
Yes, your coverage through COBRA will be the same as provided under the plan to other similarly situated employees and subject to the same plan policies and limitations.
Can I continue to use my ID card with COBRA?
For most plans, the identification card you used as an active employee is still appropriate for use with your COBRA coverage.
You should confirm the status of your card with your health plan.
How can I get ID cards for my covered family members?
Contact your medical or dental plan, as applicable, for any health care plan ID cards you need.