Benefits - COBRA
When You Leave
When you leave employment it is important to understand when benefits end and how you can continue benefits. Health and Dental benefits cease at the end of the month in which you separate from employment. If you are eligible for COBRA you will receive information and an election form by mail to the address on file with Henrico County Public Schools.
This brochure provides important details about your benefits after you leave HCPS.
How COBRA Works
Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 19 5 (COBRA), you may purchase (at your expense) extended coverage for health care, dental, and flexible spending accounts for you and/or your qualified beneficiaries if you lose coverage under a group plan due to termination of employment or a reduction of work hours. This coverage is available for up to 18 months, except if a beneficiary is disabled according to Social Security guidelines, in which case the coverage for that beneficiary may be extended to 29 months. If any family member enrolled in the plan loses coverage due to one of the following events, he/she may purchase continued coverage at his/her own expense, without proof of insurability, under the group plan for up to 36 months: Death of employee, entitlement of the employee to Medicare benefits; Divorce; or a dependent child reaches the maximum age of coverage or loses dependent status.
The Right to Continue Purchasing Group Coverage
May terminate before 18 or 36 months (whichever applies) if:
- You fail to pay the required premium on time;
- The plan terminates;
- The person continuing coverage becomes a covered employee under another group health plan which does not have a pre-existing condition clause; or
- In the case of a spouse beneficiary, the spouse remarries and is covered under another group health plan which does not have a pre-existing condition clause.
If you become divorced or your dependent child reaches the maximum age for coverage, or loses dependent status, you must notify the Health Benefits Office within 60 days of the qualifying event. Please see the General Notice for important details. In other qualifying circumstances, you will be notified that continuation coverage is available and you must then make an election. If you do not receive notice of your opportunity to elect continuation coverage, immediately contact the Health Benefits Office for an election form. You must decide whether or not you want to purchase continued coverage within 60 days from the later of: the date coverage ends, or the date you are notified of your eligibility. Failure to meet the plan's requirements makes you ineligible.
You may be entitled to purchase an individual conversion policy when you are no longer covered under the employer's group plan. If you elect coverage under COBRA, the effective date is the day after coverage stops under the regular group plan.
Other Important Details
If COBRA coverage is elected, it will begin as soon as your group coverage ends. COBRA premiums are paid on a monthly basis and are due at the first of the month. Payments should be mailed to the attention of the Health Benefits Office at HCPS, P. O. Box 23120, Henrico, VA 23223. Checks or money orders should be made payable to: HCPS. If you wish to no longer continue with COBRA coverage, contact the Health Benefits Office. COBRA coverage will automatically terminate if payment is not received in our office in a timely manner.