Leaving bp

What happens to benefits if you leave bp
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COVID-19 Extension for COBRA elections, premium payments and notifications

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and Declaration of National Emergency, the US Departments of Labor (DOL) and Treasury/IRS have provided revised guidance that extends deadlines related to COBRA actions. The guidance states that every affected individual gets an extension to take actions based on when their COBRA event occurred. This extension applies to the following actions discussed in this COBRA section:

  • The 60-day COBRA election.
  • The 45-day period to submit the initial COBRA premium, once COBRA is elected.
  • The 30-day grace period for a beneficiary to make ongoing monthly premium payments.
  • The date for individuals to notify the plan of COBRA qualifying events such as divorce or disability.

The extension pauses the deadline to take the above actions until the “Outbreak Period” for that individual and event is over. For each COBRA event, the Outbreak Period ends on the earlier of:

  • One year after the period starts for that event; or
  • 60 days after the Declaration of National Emergency ends. (The Declaration was recently extended and is still ongoing.)

Essentially, the COBRA deadlines listed above are extended (delayed) until the earlier of one year after the Outbreak Period starts for that event, or 60 days after the emergency declaration ends. The normal deadlines then apply.

The rules for these extensions are complex and subject to change. Please contact the bp benefits center for assistance.

COBRA Coverage

When you leave bp, you may be eligible to continue participating in the HCFSA under the provisions of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA). COBRA allows you to elect a temporary continuation of HCFSA participation, under certain circumstances, when coverage would otherwise end, as long as you have a positive balance at that time. There is no continued participation in the DCSA.

Qualifying events

You may elect COBRA coverage if your HCFSA participation would otherwise end because you leave bp.

Maximum period of COBRA coverage

HCFSA participation through COBRA can continue until the end of the plan year only.

Electing COBRA coverage

On your termination of employment, the bp benefits center will automatically mail COBRA enrollment materials to you. You must contact the bp benefits center to elect COBRA within 60 days of your termination date or the date the COBRA notice is sent by the bp benefits center, whichever is later. Notify the bp benefits center if the COBRA materials are not received in a timely manner.

Even if you do not continue participating in the HCFSA, eligible health care expenses you incur through the last month you were participating will be reimbursed, as long as you file a claim form for these expenses with PayFlex, and the claim form is faxed or postmarked by June 30 of the following plan year.

Paying for COBRA coverage

If you wish to continue participating in the HCFSA through COBRA, COBRA premiums are due monthly and must be paid on an after-tax basis. If you elect COBRA coverage, the bp benefits center will send a monthly bill to you. You will have 45 days from the date of the election to make the first payment. All future payments will be due in full on the fifth of each month, with a 30-day grace period.

End of COBRA coverage

Your HCFSA participation through COBRA will end before the end of the plan year on the earlier of:

  • The last day of the month in which your last contribution was made within the required time period.
  • The date bp stops providing group health benefits.

 

Publication date: April 2021

 

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