The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provides temporary premium assistance for individuals electing COBRA continuation coverage.
What does this mean?
The premium assistance benefits eligible individuals by covering their COBRA health, dental, or vision insurance premium expense(s) from April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021. For some individuals, this could cover 100% of their COBRA insurance premiums during this six-month period.
Will NDPERS notify me if I’m eligible?
NDPERS will mail you a letter notifying you might be eligible based on meeting this criteria:
- MUST have a COBRA qualifying event that is a reduction in hours or an involuntary termination of employment;
- MUST elect COBRA continuation coverage;
- MUST NOT be eligible for Medicare; AND
- MUST NOT be eligible for coverage under any other group health plan, such as a plan sponsored by a new employer or a spouse’s employer.
Receiving the COBRA insurance premium assistance mailed notice from NDPERS does not guarantee you are eligible for the insurance premium assistance.
What form(s) do I need to complete to elect to receive premium assistance?
Regardless of whether you are currently enrolled in COBRA, previously declined COBRA, or cancelled your COBRA, you may be eligible to receive the temporary premium assistance if you meet the four-point criteria listed above. Your former employer will certify your termination meets the reduction in hours or involuntary termination requirement.
If you believe you are eligible, you must send the following form(s) as applicable* within 60 days of receiving the mailed notice from NDPERS:
- First. All interested members must send the COBRA Premium Subsidy Election – SFN 59065
- Second. *If you cancelled your COBRA or previously declined COBRA, you must also send the Continuation of Group Insurance Coverage (COBRA) – SFN 14120
KEEP IN MIND
Electing COBRA continuation coverage under the American Rescue Plan does not extend the 18-month period for which COBRA coverage is generally available to you or any qualified dependents.
How will NDPERS let me know if I will receive the premium assistance?
If NDPERS confirms you are eligible for premium assistance, you will receive a letter in the mail from NDPERS with information on what to expect. NDPERS will refund any COBRA premiums you have paid during the premium assistance period (April 1 – September 30, 2021).
If you are not eligible, your existing election for COBRA continuation will remain in effect.
What happens to my insurance coverage when the temporary premium assistance ends on September 30, 2021?
If you elect to continue your COBRA continuation coverage beyond September 30, 2021, you are responsible for the full amount due each month.
Contact NDPERS to obtain your COBRA premium information or contact the Health Insurance Marketplace to obtain information on additional insurance coverage options.
I recently became eligible for Medicare or another group health plan, what is my next step?
If you become eligible for Medicare or another group health plan, you need to complete and mail the COBRA Subsidy Cancellation – SFN 59090 to NDPERS. NDPERS will process your subsidy cancellation upon receipt and begin billing you for your COBRA premium(s).
To cancel NDPERS group insurance coverage completely, a written request must be submitted. The request must provide the contract holder’s name, last four digits of social security number, NDPERS member ID and effective date. Requests to cancel insurances are not retroactive.