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GENERAL BENEFITS

Revised: March 10, 2016

When can I enroll in medical/dental insurance benefits?

There are three circumstances that allow employees to enroll in EHPS insurance benefits.  They are:

New Hire – New employees may enroll in benefits during a 31 day period following the date of eligibility (see your employment agreement or union contract for eligibility detail specific to your position).  A benefits packet will be sent to the employee’s work location approximately four weeks prior to the date of eligibility. New employees who wish to enroll in benefits must submit the required forms to the EHPS Benefits Office within 31 days from the eligibility date.  

Open Enrollment – This is the time when employees may enroll, cancel, or make changes to their EHPS insurance (i.e., add dependents, change coverage).  Open enrollment is held annually from May 1 – 31 and changes take effect on July 1.  Information regarding the Open Enrollment period, including insurance options and cost, is sent to all eligible staff in late April.

Qualifying Event – Any employee who experiences a qualifying event will be eligible to make changes to benefits outside of the Open Enrollment period (medical, dental, life insurance, dependent care account, etc.).  This special enrollment period is open for 31 days following the date of the qualifying event.  For example, an employee gives birth on Sept. 23.  The employee has 31 days following Sept. 23 to add the baby or to make changes to her benefits.

What is a qualifying event?

A qualifying event is a change in your life that triggers a special enrollment period when you can enroll or make changes to your employee benefits. Examples of qualifying events are changes in your family (i.e., marriage, divorce, birth, adoption, or death), employment changes, involuntary loss of insurance coverage, etc.

Can I enroll in dental only with no medical, or vice versa?

Yes, the medical and dental plans are separate policies.  If you don’t want both, you can choose one without the other.

Do I have prescription coverage?

Prescription coverage is included in the Anthem Lumenos HSA plan.  There is no separate policy. 

Do I have vision coverage? Does it pay for glasses or contacts?

Participants of the Anthem Lumenos HSA are eligible for one routine eye examination every calendar year as part of preventive care.   This service is 100% covered if an in-network provider is used. 

Anthem does not cover eyeglasses or contacts, however, they do offer discounts for some participating providers.  Visit their website at www.anthem.com/specialoffers/vision.html for more information.

How do I add my new spouse or new baby to my insurance?

A change to your family, such as a marriage, birth, or adoption, is a qualifying event. You have 31 days following the marriage or birth to add the new family member to your insurance. 

To add a dependent (spouse or child):

  • Complete the Anthem Enrollment/Change Form, available on the EHPS Benefits website under “Forms”. 
  • Send the completed form to the Benefits Office, along with a copy of the marriage certificate or birth certificate.  The supporting documents are needed to satisfy the district’s proof of dependency requirement.

All forms must be received in the Benefits Office within 31 days from the date of the marriage/ birth

For questions, contact Benefits at 860-622-5127. 

Can I add a domestic partner or fiancé to my insurance plan?

Only a legally married spouse is eligible for coverage under the employee’s insurance policy.

Can my child stay on my insurance until age 26?

Yes, adult children are eligible for medical and dental coverage until the last day of the month of their 26th birthday.  This eligibility is not limited by student, dependent, or marital status.

What is COBRA?

COBRA, or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, is a federal law that allows you to keep your health insurance coverage if you lose it due to a qualifying event.  A few examples of a qualifying event are:

  • divorce
  • reduction in work hours
  • ending employment
  • changing jobs
  • retirement
  • dependents who reach the maximum age for coverage

Individuals electing COBRA are responsible for the full premium cost of insurance plus a 2% administrative fee.  This temporary coverage is generally limited to an 18 month period, with some exceptions extending up to 36 months.

Benefits Strategies is the COBRA administrator for EHPS.  Once the EHPS Benefits Office confirms that a qualifying event has occurred, Benefit Strategies is notified and sends an offer of continuation of coverage to the employee and/or dependents. 

Do I have Life Insurance?

Most employees are covered by employer-paid life insurance and accidental death & dismemberment (AD&D) insurance.  See your employment agreement or union contract for details specific to your position. 

Employees also have the option to purchase supplemental life insurance and/or AD&D insurance for themselves and their dependents.  This choice can be made upon hire, during the Open Enrollment period, or at any point during the year if you experience a qualifying event.  IMPORTANT – if electing supplemental coverage after you were originally eligible upon hire, you will be required to complete a health questionnaire that will be evaluated by AETNA for approval.

For more information, see the Life Insurance & AD&D Insurance plan summary available on the EHPS Benefits website.   

Is Long Term Disability Available?

Yes, qualified employees have the option to purchase Long Term Disability insurance (LTD).  This choice can be made upon hire, during the Open Enrollment period, or at any point during the year if you experience a qualifying event.  .   IMPORTANT – if electing Long Term Disability coverage after you were originally eligible upon hire, you will be required to complete a health questionnaire that will be evaluated by AETNA for approval. 

This option is not offered to spouses or dependents.

LTD provides up to 60% of your pre-disability monthly earnings when you are unable to work for 90 consecutive days due to illness or injury.  The benefit begins on the 91st day of disability.

For more information, see the Long Term Disability plan summary available on the EHPS Benefits website.   

Is Short Term Disability insurance offered?

No, this is not an available option. 

The paid sick leave that is provided to qualified employees may be accumulated and used for short term absences due to injury or illness. 

Refer to your employment agreement or union contract for Sick Leave details specific to your employment group.  

If there is no option for Short Term Disability Insurance, what do I do before Long Term Disability benefits begin?

During the first 90 days of disability, employees can use any paid sick leave that has accrued. 

In the event that you exhaust your accumulated sick leave before the 90 day period ends, refer to your employment agreement or union contract for available options.

I want to enroll my dependents in insurance, but don’t need insurance for myself. Can I enroll my dependents only?

No, you must you must be enrolled in any insurance option that you are choosing for your dependents.

How do I cancel medical and/or dental insurance?

There are two circumstances that will allow cancellation of coverage.  They are:

Open Enrollment:  Medical/dental insurance can be cancelled during Open Enrollment with no restrictions.

Notify the Benefits Office during the Open Enrollment period of your intent to cancel.  Benefits will end on June 30th.

Qualifying Event:  A qualifying event will allow you to cancel medical/dental insurance during the plan year.

Submit a written request explaining your reason for termination and provide supporting documentation.  The request and documentation should be received in the Benefits Office within 31 days of the event. Coverage will end on the last day of the month in which the qualifying event occurred.

Can I cancel Supplemental Life, AD&D, or Long Term Disability insurance during the plan year?

This insurance can be cancelled at any time by sending a written request to the Benefits Office.  Coverage will end on the last day of the month.   

If I resign from EHPS during July/August, will I owe anything for health insurance?

A 10 month employee enrolled in any EHPS insurance plans on July 1, who resigns during the summer, will be responsible for the employee premium cost for coverage from July 1 through the last day of the month that the resignation is effective. 

Does EHPS offer a Dependent Care - Flexible Spending Account?

Yes, eligible employees have the option of enrolling in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for dependent care.  This may be done during the new hire period, during Open Enrollment or with a qualifying event. 

For more detail, see “Dependent Care FSA” under the Plan Information section of the EHPS Benefits site.

What is an Employee Assistance Program?

An EAP, or employee assistance program, is a free, confidential, short term, counselling service for employees and family members who are dealing with personal problems (marital, substance abuse, financial, bereavement, depression/stress, parenting & family issues, etc.).  EHPS offers this service through Solutions EAP.

Available to employees and family members, the service is strictly confidential. Your privacy is protected by HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996).  

Assistance is provided at no cost to you or your family members.

If your counselor refers you to a treatment resource outside of EAP or if you exhaust your EAP benefits, the counselor will discuss any potential expense as the situation arises. Note that any outside expenses may be offset by your medical insurance.

Please visit www.solutions-eap.com or call 1-800-526-3485 for additional information or for an appointment.

Are there any programs available to help me stay healthy?

The East Hartford Board of Education is committed to the health and well-being of all employees.  Several employer sponsored programs promoting good health are offered to EHPS staff.  Below is a sample of what is available:

  • Cholesterol Screening
  • Employee Wellness Initiatives: Walking Rewards, Gym Reimbursement Program, etc.
  • Flu Clinic
  • East Hartford Health & Wellness Fair (alternating years)
  • LifeLine Screenings ($)
  • Lunch & Learn
  • Weight Management ($)
  • Zumba Classes

Program announcements and information are sent to all staff via e-mail.

  • Hartford Courant Top Work Places 2011 Award Ribbon
  • Hartford Courant Top Work Places 2012 Award Ribbon
  • Hartford Courant Top Work Places 2013 Award Ribbon
  • Hartford Courant Top Work Places 2016 Award Ribbon
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