Benefits Review-Michelle’s Law (Pub. L. 110-381)
Summery of Michelle’s Law:
Michelle’s Law pertains to seriously ill or injured full-time college students may maintain dependent insurance coverage for up to 12 months, if their physician provides written documentation supporting the need for the medical leave.
Medical Leave may mean the student is absent from school or that they simply reduce course/load to part-time. Students are only eligible as long as they were covered by their parent’s health insurance prior to the diagnosis.
When does COBRA Period of Coverage Begin?
Normally students between the ages of 19-24 can continue health coverage under their parent’s policy as long as they have full time status. If the student graduates, reduces their schedule or drops out of college the QE occurs. Does the COBRA period under Michelle’s Law begin when the medical leave begins or after the 12 months medical leave period?
Does 12 Months of Coverage under Michelle’s Law count as Alternative medical coverage?
An employer may offer alternative coverage to COBRA and meet it’s COBRA obligation. Would the 12 months reduce the employer’s obligation from 36 months to 24 months?
If the student notifies the employer outside the normal COBRA notification dates, what happens?
Under Michelle’s Law there is no deadline for students to provide documentation for medical leave. Consequently, if the student provides notification does employer have to reinstate coverage retroactively? If the student had elected COBRA, would the employer have to reimburse the student for the difference between the COBRA rate and the Active Employee Rate.
Are required COBRA Notification impacted?
Should the Initial Notice, COBRA Qualifying Event Notice and/or SPD’s include information regarding Michelle’s Law.
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