Layoff FAQs - Health Insurance
Last Edited: June 1, 2015
Will my health insurance be restored when I am recalled? How soon after recall will this happen?
If you were covered under the AlaskaCare plan when you began layoff, when you return to work from layoff, you are covered under the plan starting the day you return to work.
What is COBRA? How/when do I need to apply? How much does it cost?
If you and/or your dependents lose coverage due to a qualifying event, you and/or your dependents may continue coverage under the plan by electing COBRA coverage and paying the required premium. You may elect coverage under the plan that is the same or less than the level of coverage that you or your dependents had at the time your coverage terminated under the plan. For example, if you are covered under the medical plan and have elected the standard plan, you may elect COBRA continuation coverage under either the standard plan or the economy plan, but not the premium plan. Additionally, you may elect COBRA continuation coverage:
- under the medical plan only; or
- under the medical plan and under the dental plan and/or the vision plan
You may not elect COBRA continuation coverage under the dental plan or the vision plan without also electing COBRA continuation coverage under the medical plan.
When the notice of coverage termination is sent to our vendor, PayFlex, a notice of COBRA rights and application for continuation of coverage will be mailed to you. The election of continuation of coverage must be made on a form provided by PayFlex and must be made within 60 days of when the initial notice is issued to you. Payment for coverage, as described in the notice, must be made when due. Premium amounts will be listed in the initial notice, and can also be found on our web page: http://doa.alaska.gov/drb/cobra/cobraPremiums.html.
Important note: If you elect to enroll in the COBRA plan, you must contact your COBRA Administrator to terminate this coverage once you return to work or if you become eligible for coverage under another plan, including a plan purchased through the marketplace. Once COBRA is terminated, it cannot be reinstated.
Will COBRA cover my dependents?
Yes, you may elect COBRA coverage for yourself and your eligible dependents. However, only those persons who are covered under the plan on the day before the event which triggered termination of coverage are eligible to elect COBRA continuation coverage. There is an exception that dependent children born to or placed for adoption with you while you are on continuation coverage may be added to your coverage if the child is otherwise eligible under the plan.
Once my health insurance ends, do I have to sign up for health care under the Affordable Care Act?
You have the right to continue your coverage under COBRA for a period up to 36 months. If you elect COBRA you do not need to sign up for health care under the Affordable Care Act. However, being eligible for COBRA does not limit your eligibility for coverage for a tax credit through the Marketplace. Additionally, you may qualify for a special enrollment opportunity for another group health plan for which you are eligible (such as your spouse's plan), even if the plan generally does not accept late enrollees, if you request enrollment within 30 days.
The Marketplace offers "one-stop shopping" to find and compare private health insurance options. In the Marketplace, you could be eligible for a new kind of tax credit that lowers your monthly premiums and cost-sharing reductions (amounts that lower your out-of-pocket costs for deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments) right away, and you can see what your premium, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs will be before you make a decision to enroll. Through the Marketplace you'll also learn if you qualify for free or low-cost coverage from Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). You can access the Marketplace at HealthCare.gov.
Lastly, if you elect to enroll in a Marketplace plan, you must contact your COBRA Administrator and terminate your COBRA continuation coverage. Once terminated, your COBRA coverage cannot be reinstated.
What will happen to my flex spending account? Can I continue to use this during layoff?
Your coverage will end on the last day month in which you cease to be an eligible employee. Only qualified services incurred while covered will be eligible for reimbursement.
If you were covered under the plan when you began layoff, when you return to work from layoff, you are covered under the plan starting the day you return to work.
What will happen to my dependent care spending account? Can I continue to use this during layoff?
Your coverage will end on the last day month in which you are in pay status or terminate employment. Only qualified services incurred while covered will be eligible for reimbursement. Should you return to work, your coverage will resume the first of the month following your return to work from layoff.