COBRA Continuation Coverage

Under the Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1985, Title X (COBRA), terminated employees and their eligible dependents may continue group health plan coverage.

We urge you to read this description of the “continuation coverage” option carefully, and to make sure you and your spouse read and understand the rights and responsibilities in connection with this continuation of coverage.

If you are currently covered under The City of Atlanta Health Plan, you will be entitled to continue your and your family’s Health Plan coverage for up to 18 months from the date coverage would have terminated because of voluntary or involuntary termination. If a qualified beneficiary is deemed disabled for Social Security, at the date of the qualifying event, or within the first 60 days following the qualifying event, the continuation coverage period is 29 months for all the members of your family who have elected COBRA. The 18-month period also may be extended if other events (such as a death or divorce) occur during that 18-month period. Employees discharged because of “gross misconduct” would not be eligible for continuation of coverage. Dependents who no longer qualify as dependents under the City of Atlanta Health Plan are eligible to apply for continuation of coverage. If you should die or become divorced, and if your spouse and dependents are covered by the City of Atlanta Health Plan at that time, they will be entitled to continue health coverage for up to 36 months. Continuation coverage also is available for your children for up to 36 months.

If an Eligible Person is 60 years old on the date COBRA continuation coverage started COBRA coverage may extend up to the time of Medicare eligibility. If you have a newborn child, adopt a child, or have a child placed in your home pending adoption (for whom you have financial responsibility), while your COBRA continuation is in effect, you may add this child to your coverage.

Continuation of coverage is optional on the part of the employee or dependent. Those who elect continuation of coverage will be required to pay 102% of the total monthly group premium for the applicable class of coverage. For the extended disability coverage, employees may be required to pay up to 150% of the monthly group premium for coverage during the 19th through the 29th month. Persons 60 years old on the date of COBRA eligibility may be required to pay up to 120% of the premium for extended time.

There will be no contribution made by the City of Atlanta. Premiums are due monthly and in advance. You should note that your continuation coverage will stop if the premiums for this coverage are not paid on time. If you elect to continue coverage, new dependents may be added during the period of continuation on the same basis as they are added for active employees. If during continuation of coverage, health benefits and premium rates change, your coverage and costs will be affected accordingly. Should Open Enrollment occur during the period of your continuation, you will retain your right to switch to a different option.

If you or covered members of your family become entitled to Medicare or are covered under another employer-sponsored health plan, which does not limit coverage due to preexisting conditions, the continuation coverage from the City of Atlanta Health Plan will cease. In addition, your coverage will cease if the City of Atlanta should terminate the Health Plan or you cease to pay premiums. Once the period of coverage continuation has expired, anyone receiving continuation coverage will be eligible to convert to individual policies, as provided under the City of Atlanta plan.

You or your spouse or dependents must notify the DHR – Employee Benefits when your dependent child reaches the maximum age under the plan, or in the event you become divorced. It is important that you notify us of your or your dependents loss of plan eligibility promptly – in advance, if possible, but no later than 60 days from the date coverage would otherwise have terminated in order to be eligible to elect continuation coverage.

Within 14 days after the end of the month in which you notified the DHR – Employee Benefits, you or your eligible dependents will be mailed information and forms regarding continuation of coverage. You or your dependent must return the completed election forms within 60 days. If continuation of coverage is selected within 60 days, you or your dependent will then have an additional 45 days to pay the applicable premium, retroactive to the date coverage would otherwise have terminated.

If you would like further information on continuation coverage under the City of Atlanta Health Plan, please contact the DHR – Employee Benefits at (404) 330-6036.

When your group health insurance ends due to termination of employment with the City of Atlanta or due to expiration of COBRA continuation of health care coverage under the group contract you may apply for converted health coverage. For additional information contact the DHR – Employee Benefits (404) 330-6036.

If you terminate your employment with the City, or your COBRA eligibility terminates, A CERTIFICATE OF GROUP HEALTH PLAN COVERAGE will be mailed by your Insurance Carrier/ HMO, to the last address on their file.

If you are a new employee, have previously waived your health insurance, or are adding a dependent other than a newborn (or child placed in your home pending adoption), you should provide copies of the CERTIFICATE OF GROUP HEALTH PLAN COVERAGE issued to you or your dependents, by the previous employer(s) for CREDITABLE PRIOR COVERAGE.