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LEAVING DARTMOUTH

If you find yourself leaving Dartmouth College, we have created a page to help answer the most commonly asked questions that people ask in regards to their benefits.

WHAT TO EXPECT

WHEN DO BENEFITS END?

All benefits will end on the last day of the month in which your employment or benefits eligible position ends. For example, if your last date of employment is on July 10, your benefits will end on July 31.

DO I NEED TO NOTIFY THE BENEFITS OFFICE?

Only if you are removing a dependent due to death. If you are leaving Dartmouth, or losing benefits eligibility, your department will notify the Finance Center of your last date of employment/eligibility. Benefits will then be notified of the change through a reporting system and will in turn send notification to Crosby Benefits (the COBRA Administrator) of your last date of coverage.

MAY I CONTINUE BENEFITS AFTER I LEAVE?

Yes. Whenever you or a dependent loses benefit eligibility you may continue Medical, Dental, and your Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) benefits for a period of time under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). Some benefits may be continued directly through the vendor. These benefits include: Life Insurance through Met Life, Dependent Life Insurance through Met Life, and Supplemental Benefits through Winston Benefits. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) will continue automatically and may continue to be used for as long as there is a balance in the account.

COBRA

WHAT IS COBRA?

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) is a law that was passed by Congress in 1986, allowing eligible employees the right to temporary continuation of health coverage at group rates. Crosby Benefits is the third party administrator for Dartmouth's COBRA administration.


HOW DO I CONTINUE BENEFITS UNDER COBRA?

Once notified, Crosby Benefits will send out a packet of COBRA information to the legal mailing address listed on file. You must complete the COBRA election forms and mail them back to Crosby Benefits with payment no later than the end of the 60 day election period. The 60 day election period ends 60 days after the later of your loss of coverage date, or the date of the notice. You will lose all rights to continue coverage under COBRA if you do not make an election during the 60-day period. You will not be officially covered until the paperwork and payment have been received by Crosby Benefits, however, once received, all incurred medical, prescription drug and/or dental expenses will be covered retro back to your last date of coverage.

WHEN/WHERE CAN I EXPECT TO RECEIVE A COBRA PACKET?

A COBRA packet will be mailed to your legal mailing address that is on file with Dartmouth College within 2-3 weeks of your loss of coverage date.  If you have an ex-spouse or a dependent child who is no longer living with you, please notify the Benefits office as soon as possible at 603-646-3588, with an updated address where the packet should be mailed.

WHAT IF I NEED TO USE SERVICES PRIOR TO RECEIVING/RETURNING MY COBRA PACKET?

Explain to your provider that you have left your employment or are no longer eligible for benefits at Dartmouth College, and that you are in the process of enrolling in COBRA.  Most providers will send a bill to your home, which you can later call and have the claim re-submitted once the COBRA coverage has been established.  Prescription drugs must be paid out of pocket and submitted to CVS/caremark for reimbursement.  If you have an urgent situation, where the above is not possible, please contact the benefits office at 603-646-3588.

DO I HAVE TO TAKE COBRA?

No. You may drop the Dartmouth coverage when you leave and join a plan through your spouse or partner if eligible. You may also apply for medical coverage through the state or federal exchanges.

The healthcare.gov website provides more information about state and federal Health Care Exchanges. Under the guidelines of the Affordable Care Act, if you can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it, you must pay a tax penalty called the individual shared responsibility payment.

HOW MUCH WILL I PAY ON COBRA?

Below are the COBRA premium rates for 2017.

2017 COBRA rate chart
2018 COBRA rate chart

HOW LONG CAN I STAY ON COBRA?

Generally coverage will last up to 18 months, however some situations like divorce or death may allow for a longer period of coverage. Your COBRA packet will have more information.

WHO CAN I COVER UNDER COBRA?

  • COBRA Eligibility - You and any family members who are currently covered under a Dartmouth Cigna plan may continue coverage under COBRA.
  • Dependents Taking Individual Coverage - If you choose to take coverage elsewhere, but your family continues through COBRA, or if a family member is removed from your plan due to a divorce, child turning age 26, etc., that family member may continue coverage through their own plan, under a new plan ID number.

DO MY PLANS CHANGE WHEN ELECTING COBRA?

  • If you elect to continue medical and prescription coverage through COBRA, your plan will not change. You will remain on the same OAP, CCF, or HDHP. All out-of-pocket expenses paid year-to-date will continue to count toward your deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums for the year.
  • ID Cards - When continuing medical and prescription coverage, as long as you are still the primary member on the plan, ID numbers and cards will not change for you or your family members.

WHAT IF I WANT/NEED TO MAKE CHANGES TO MY PLANS ONCE I ELECT COBRA?

  • Changing Plans - Once you elect COBRA, you may not change to a different Cigna plan (OAP, CCF or HDHP) until the COBRA Open Enrollment period.
  • Open Enrollment – You will receive a COBRA Open Enrollment packet from Crosby Benefits in the late fall, which will allow you to make changes to your plan for the upcoming calendar year.
  • Mid-Year Qualifying Events - You may add and/or remove dependents from your plan if you have a mid-year qualifying event.

COBRA AND MEDICARE

  • If you or your covered spouse are medicare eligible or becoming medicare eligible within the next year, we highly encourage you to contact the Medicare office to discuss how signing up for COBRA or coverage on the health care exchange may affect you; including coordination of benefits with your new plan and/or the potential for late enrollment penalties.
  • Contact Medicare at:  1-800-MEDICARE (633-4227)

OTHER MEDICAL COVERAGE OPTIONS

MAY I REMAIN A PATIENT AT DARTMOUTH HEALTH CONNECT?

  • Existing patients who elect coverage under COBRA may continue care at Dartmouth Health Connect, until your COBRA coverage ends.
  • Retirees <65 who are still on one of our active health plans are able to continue being a patient at Dartmouth Health Connect
  • Retirees who are age 65+ and on Medicare/DCMS are NOT eligible.

WHERE ELSE CAN I GET HEALTH CARE OTHER THAN THROUGH COBRA?

  • A new employer
  • Spouse or Domestic Partner
  • The Health Care Exchange
    • The Health Care Exchange (Marketplace) allows you to find and compare private health insurance coverage.
    • Coverage through the Exchange may cost less than COBRA continuation coverage.  If you or your spouse are Medicare eligible, please see the COBRA AND MEDICARE section above.
    • You have 60 days from the time you lose your medical coverage to enroll in the Health Care Exchange. After 60 days you may have to wait until the next open enrollment period, offered through the exchange.
    • For more information on the Health Care Exchange, visit www.healthcare.gov

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON'T WANT HEALTH INSURANCE?

Under the guidelines of the Affordable Care Act, if you can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it, you must pay a penalty called the individual shared responsibility payment.
To calculate the potential penalty amount mentioned above, visit www.healthcare.gov/fees

OTHER QUESTIONS

WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE CLAIMS ISSUES AFTER I LEAVE DARTMOUTH?

The www.my.cigna.com website will remain available for 12 months from your last date of employment if you wish to view claims.  You may also contact Cigna directly at 855-869-8619 or for escalated claims contact the Benefits office at 603-646-3588.


HOW DO I OBTAIN "PROOF OF PRIOR COVERAGE" IF ASKED BY MY NEW EMPLOYER?

If you are required to provide a proof of coverage document to your next employer, please call Cigna Customer Service at 855-869-8619.

I AM GETTING DIVORCED - WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO KNOW?

  • Former spouses are not eligible dependents on the Dartmouth benefit plans and must be removed by the employee through a Divorce event in FlexOnline.
  • Be sure to notify your spouse immediately that they are being removed from your coverage.  You and your former spouse only have 31 days from the date of the divorce event to make the changes to your health plans.
  • Your former spouse will be eligible to continue coverage through an individual CIGNA or Delta Dental plan under the same COBRA guidelines spelled out above.
  • If your former spouse is no longer living with you, please notify the benefits office once the divorce event has been completed, so the COBRA packet is mailed to the appropriate location.

DENTAL

WHERE ELSE CAN I BUY DENTAL INSURANCE?

New Hampshire Continuation of Coverage (COC)

In addition to your COBRA packet, New Hampshire residents will also receive a packet offering continuation of dental coverage (COC) through the State of New Hampshire.

  • Plans - The NH COC is a continuation of your existing Delta Dental plan.
  • Costs - The same as your Dartmouth Coverage, but the state of NH does not charge the additional 2% admin fee that you pay with COBRA.
  • Coverage Ends - NH COC continues for 18 months, same as COBRA
  • ID Card – You will continue to use the same ID number/card that you used as a Dartmouth employee, whether you continue through COBRA or NH COC.
  • No Coverage - There is no IRS penalty for canceling dental insurance.

FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNTS (FSA)

HEALTH CARE FSA

  • Overspend of Funds - If you have already spent more money than you have contributed by the time your plan coverage ends, you will not be required to pay back the difference.
  • COBRA - When you elect to continue your Health Care FSA under COBRA, you may continue to incur expenses through the end of the plan year in which your employment ends. The plan year ends on December 31.
  • Runout Period (Deadline to submit claims) - The Health Care FSA has a three month Runout period, allowing you to submit claims for expenses incurred in the prior calendar year, through March 31 of the current plan year. For more information on how claims work at year end visit www.dartgo.org/fsa_ye_faq
  • Carryover Feature - If you continue your Health Care FSA under COBRA, unused dollars will not carry over after the runout period ends and the remaining balance in your account will be lost.
  • Paying Claims - Debit Card - Your debit card will be deactivated on the last day of the month in which you leave, even if you choose to continue the benefit under COBRA.
  • Submitting for Reimbursement - Once your card has been deactivated, claims may be submitted directly to Crosby Benefits by filling out a claim form and sending it via US mail, Fax or by uploading the form to your personal account at www.mycrosbybenefits.com
  • Proof of Payment - You are not required to show proof of payment when submitting expenses, an Explanation of Benefits or unpaid invoice should suffice.
  • Eligible Expenses - For a list of eligible expenses visit www.dartgo.org/fsa_eligible
  • Claim Form - For a copy of the Health Care FSA claim form visit www.dartgo.org/hcfsa_form

DEPENDENT CARE FSA

  • COBRA - Unlike the Health Care FSA, you may not continue your Dependent Care FSA under COBRA. Expenses incurred after the last day of coverage will not be approved.
  • Runout Period (Deadline to Submit Claims) - You will still have the runout period through March 31st of the following year to submit your expenses manually. For more information on how claims work at year end visit www.dartgo.org/fsa_ye_faq
  • Submitting for Reimbursement - The process does not change. You will continue to submit expenses to Crosby Benefits using the claim form.
  • Claim Form - The claim form can be found at www.dartgo.org/dcfsa_form

HEALTH REIMBURSEMENT ACCOUNT (HRA)

  • The Account - The HRA account can be attached to either the Cigna CCF or an HDHP plan. Because these accounts are funded by and belong to Dartmouth, the amount that is remaining in the account when you leave, is forfeited and goes back to the College.
  • Paying Claims - The HRA will follow the run-out period, which for Dartmouth is 90-days after the plan terminates. This means that both in- and out-of-network claims incurred prior to your coverage end date, and received by Cigna within 90-days of your coverage end date can still be paid with remaining HRA dollars.  Claims received after the 90-days will not be considered for payment.

HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNT (HSA)

  • Your Account - The dollar amount that is in your account when you leave is your money, including all employer contributions. You may continue to spend down your balance as needed.
  • Packet of Information - Fidelity will not send a packet of information when your benefits end with the college.
  • Contributions - You may continue to make contributions to your HSA plan as long as you are enrolled in a qualified high deductible health plan, whether through your COBRA'd Cigna health plan, the health care exchange or some other qualified plan.
  • Contribution Limits - You may continue to contribute up to the IRS annual limit that you are eligible for.
  • Administrative Fees - You will be charged a quarterly fee to maintain the account, which will be automatically deducted from your account.
  • Account Balances - Balances will continue to roll over from year to year.
  • Debit Card & Check Book - You may continue to use your HSA debit card and/or check book after you leave the college. Make sure you keep your receipts as you have always done.
  • Tax Forms - You will continue to receive tax forms at year end and will need to file as part of your annual tax return.
  • Tax Professionals - As with all life events, we highly recommend that you speak with a qualified tax professional about your HSA eligibility.

LIFE INSURANCE BENEFITS

MetLife will mail a packet of information to your home, giving you the option to either port or convert your voluntary and dependent life insurance benefits. The $50,000 basic life plan is only available to convert. Porting is a non-Dartmouth group plan, while conversion allows you to take an individualized plan. The full comparison between porting and converting can be found at www.dartgo.org/lifeins_continuation. You will be instructed to contact MetLife and a representative will call you back with information. You will have 31 days from the date on the election form to complete and return the form to MetLife. Rates differ from your Dartmouth College Group rates.

LONG TERM DISABILITY BENEFITS

Long Term Disability (LTD) insurance will end on the last day of the month in which your employment ends. There is no option to port or convert your LTD insurance.

SUPPLEMENTAL BENEFITS

  • Once Winston Benefits has been notified that your employment has ended, your coverage will automatically be switched over to direct bill status.
  • You will be billed at the same rate that you are currently paying under the Dartmouth College plan.
  • If you do not pay the bill, coverage will automatically cancel and you will be notified.
  • Universal Life Insurance plans may have some cash value, so unpaid premiums will be deducted from the cash value balance and will be cancelled once the cash value runs out.
  • If you know you want to cancel, call Winston directly at 855-805-5840

RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS

WHAT SHOULD I DO ABOUT MY RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS?

  • DEFINED CONTRIBUTION PLAN (TIAA and FIDELITY)The Defined Contribution (401a) account requires vesting to take ownership of the money in the account. Vesting is defined as 3 years of service to the college. If you are not vested, the money is forfeited by you and returned to Dartmouth. If you have completed at least 3 years of service or more, you have 3 options with the account. You may leave the account with the investment company until a later date, you may rollover the money into another qualified retirement account or you may take a cash distribution. (If you choose a cash distribution, taxes will be withheld and you may incur penalties.)
  • SUPPLEMENTAL RETIREMENT ACCOUNT (TIAA and FIDELITY) If you have contributed to a Supplemental Retirement Account (403b) as an active employee, any monies in the account belong to you and would be subject to the same 3 options mentioned above, including taxes and possible penalties. Whatever you choose to do with your account(s), the process must be initiated with the investment company where the account is housed.
  • DEFINED BENEFIT (STAFF AND UNION) PENSION PLAN
  • 457b RETIREMENT PLAN INFORMATION

Click here to schedule an individual appointment with TIAA, Fidelity or Calvert, or call them toll-free at:

  • Fidelity 1-800-343-0860
  • TIAA-CREF 1-800-842-2776
  • Calvert/USI 1-866-305-8846

CONTACT INFORMATION

If you have additional questions beyond what is available here, please contact the Benefits office at 603-646-3588 or Crosby Benefits if you have questions pertaining to COBRA coverage at 800-462-2235.

Last Updated: 12/11/17