COBRA Specific Questions
1. What does COBRA cost?
2. Who implements and gives notice for COBRA?
3. Who reports the qualifying event (strike) and in what time frame?
4. How long do I have to select a COBRA plan in order to keep my current coverage in effect?
5. When must I pay the premium in order for the insurance coverage to stay in effect?
6. If I have a claim during the 105 day period will the claim be covered?
7. Is there any financial assistance to help me pay the COBRA premium costs?
8. Can I recover the cost of paying the COBRA premiums?
- What does COBRA cost?
- Who implements and gives notice for COBRA?
- Who reports the qualifying event (strike) and in what time frame?
- How long do I have to select a COBRA plan in order to keep my current coverage in effect?
- When must I pay the premium in order for the insurance coverage to stay in effect?
- If I have a claim during the 105 day period will the claim be covered?
- Is there any financial assistance to help me pay the COBRA premium costs?
- Can I recover the cost of paying the COBRA premiums?
By law the maximum charge for continuing your CMS insurance coverage is 102% of the total premium cost [cost includes both your and the employer’s shares of the premium.]
The State of Illinois Central Management Services (CMS) is the plan administrator for all state university employee health insurance plans. That office has 14 days from the occurrence of a qualifying event (under CMS rules a strike is a qualifying event) to issue a notice of COBRA rights to each qualified beneficiary, including you, your spouse or domestic partner, and dependents. A stamped, addressed letter delivered by mail is presumed to be notice so it is important that SIUC Human Resources has your current address.
SIUC as employer has 30 days from the date of the strike to notify CMS that a qualifying event has occurred.
You and each qualified beneficiary (or you on their behalf) have 60 days from the CMS notice to advise CMS of COBRA election coverage.
If you and qualified beneficiaries elect COBRA coverage you have 45 days from your election to pay the premiums due to keep the insurance in effect. In other words you potentially have 105 days from the COBRA notice to pay all premiums accrued during that time period. SIUC as employer may legally continue to pay the employer subsidy of the health insurance on the same basis as before the strike. Ending the subsidy is not a legal requirement under COBRA.
As long as the premiums are paid by the CMS deadline, claims will be covered per the benefits of your selected plan coverage.
IEA-NEA has an interest free loan program to help pay for the premium costs in addition to any lost salary amounts resulting from a strike. This benefit is for IEA-NEA members only.
As part of a ratified new Agreement, your bargaining team will negotiate a “Back-to Work” provision that includes reimbursement of premium payments that you paid over and above your normal co-pay. This agreement would also address reimbursement of any medically related expenditure.