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In the event an employee does not enroll for retiree coverage within 31 days of leaving employment, he may still choose to continue coverage through COBRA any time during the balance of the COBRA election period. However, once the COBRA election period expires, the retiree has no option for coverage under the Plan. See specific details regarding COBRA continuation coverage under Continuing Coverage Under the Plan.

If an employee applies for disability retirement through PERS and is not eligible for service retirement, the employee must continue coverage under COBRA until disability retirement is approved in order to continue health insurance coverage under the Plan as a retiree. If disability retirement is approved by PERS, an enrollee must complete an Application for Coverage form within 31 days of approval.

Surviving Spouse Eligibility If a covered retiree or a covered active employee who is eligible to retire dies, his covered surviving spouse and any covered dependent children may continue coverage under the Plan. The surviving spouse can be covered for his lifetime, and dependent children may be covered under the surviving spouse’s coverage until they reach age 19, or 25 if they continue to meet the definition of a full-time student.

If the retiree or active employee has covered dependent children but not a covered spouse, the dependent children can continue coverage for up to 36 months under COBRA continuation coverage. See specific details regarding COBRA continuation coverage and the election period under Continuing Coverage Under the Plan.

Surviving Spouse Enrollment To continue coverage under the Plan, the surviving spouse must apply within 31 days of the end of the month following the employee/retiree’s date of death. An Application for Coverage form can be obtained by contacting Blue Cross & Blue Shield.

The surviving spouse must return the Application for Coverage form to the Department of Finance and Administration, Office of Insurance along with all premiums due for the coverage period beginning at the first of the month following the employee/retiree’s death. Any Application for Coverage form received by the Department of Finance and Administration, Office of Insurance more than 31 days from the employee/retiree’s date of death will be returned, and coverage will not be available.

Cost of Retiree/Surviving Spouse Coverage The retiree/surviving spouse is responsible for paying 100% of the premium for the coverage selected for himself and any covered dependent(s). Premiums will be deducted from the retiree’s retirement annuity check, the surviving spouse’s survivor benefit check, or the retiree/surviving spouse will be direct billed by Blue Cross & Blue Shield if the check will not cover the cost of the premium. For direct bill, premium payments are due on the first of each month.

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