The University Record, September 16, 1998
Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of articles from the Benefits Office on benefits and Open Enrollment that will appear in the Record during fall term.
Open Enrollment for your 1999 benefits is set for Oct. 12-30. An important policy change for 1999 is described below. Other changes will be announced through the Record during September.
During the past two or three years, the Benefits Office has heard often from faculty and staff who want to be able to cover their 19- to 25-year-old dependents on benefits plans in addition to health insurance. Health insurance coverage for these dependents has been available since 1974.
Effective Jan. 1, 1999, Dental, Vision and Dependent Child Life Insurance coverage will be extended to your eligible 19-25-year-old dependents. It is important for you to know the following:
Since a significant number of faculty and staff have requested this coverage, your 20-24-year-old dependents currently enrolled on a U-M health insurance plan will be automatically added to your dental and vision coverage, if you are currently enrolled in those plans. If you do not want dental and/or vision coverage for these dependents, call the Benefits Enrollment Line (BEL) during Open Enrollment and remove them from those plans. Coverage is available for all eligible dependents through Dec. 31 of the year the dependent turns age 25. This means that for these plans, age 19 is eliminated as a limiting year for eligible dependents.
If you are enrolled in Dependent Child Life Insurance, you do not need to do anything; all your eligible dependents will be automatically covered, if you continue your enrollment, through Dec. 31 of the year they turn age 25. If you are not enrolled in Dependent Child Life Insurance, you may call BEL during Open Enrollment and enroll in the plan. Eligible dependents can be covered from age 15 days through Dec. 31 of the year they turn age 25.
If your 20-24-year-old dependents continued their dental and/or vision plan coverage through the federal law COBRA when they reached the limiting age for those plans, and they are covered on your health insurance plan, they will be automatically removed from COBRA and re-added to the dental and/or vision plans. When the dependents reach the new limiting age of 25, they will be eligible for an additional full 36-month term of COBRA.
BEL will be open for your call every day, including weekends Oct. 12-30, 7:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m., Eastern time, except that BEL will close at 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 30.
Children who reach the limiting age for health, dental and vision coverage are automatically removed from coverage at the end of each calendar year and will receive information on continuing their benefits coverage through the federal law COBRA.
Do not remove children who are reaching the age limit through BEL during Open Enrollment. If you do, they will NOT receive COBRA information because the Benefits Office will have no way of identifying them.