COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) is a Federal law under which employees and their covered dependents have the opportunity for a temporary extension of medical, dental and/or vision coverage at group rates in instances where coverage under the plan would otherwise end. In certain cases, it may also be possible to continue HCRA coverage. The employee or dependent is responsible for the entire premium for COBRA coverage plus a two percent administrative fee.
Employees have a right to choose COBRA benefits when coverage is lost due to:
- a reduction in work hours, or
- termination of employment (other than for gross misconduct).
Coverage is extended only to those individuals covered at the time of termination and may only continue the level of coverage that was in effect on the day of termination, or a lower level of coverage.
Covered dependents also have a right, independent of the employee's right, to COBRA coverage. The covered dependent may elect COBRA even if the employee does not. A spouse or dependent child covered under an employee's medical plan has the right to elect COBRA continuation coverage if they lose coverage due to:
- the employee's death, the employee's termination (other than for gross misconduct), or reduction in work hours, divorce, the employee's entitlement to Medicare; or
- if a covered individual ceases to meet the definition of a dependent.
When you or your dependent loses eligibility for coverage under the employee insurance plan, UT Benefits Billing will send you a COBRA Election Notice and application after your insurance has been terminated. To ensure that you receive this notice, please ensure that your email and mailing address are up to date.
If you elect COBRA coverage, you will send the application and payment directly to the COBRA Plan Administrator, UT Benefits Billing.
Portability and Conversion of Life Insurance
When coverage ends due to termination of employment, Portability allows Active Employees and their dependents to continue the Voluntary Term Life coverage by remitting premium directly to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. Portability is not available to insureds who elect to convert coverage or whose coverage terminated due to retirement.
- The maximum age for coverage in force by Portability is age 65.
- Provided premiums are paid when due, coverage terminates the earlier of age 65 or the date the insured no longer pays the required premiums.
For questions and additional information about Portability, please contact Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas at 1-866-628-2606.
Conversion allows Employees and their covered dependents to convert some of their Basic Life and/or Voluntary Life insurance to an individual whole life policy if any portion of their Life insurance terminates by remitting premium directly to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. Insureds who elect to port coverage are not eligible to convert.
Provided premiums are paid when due, coverage will continue until the insured’s request to terminate coverage.
For questions and additional information about Conversion, please contact Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas at 1-866-628-2606.
Long Term Disability Conversion
If you are enrolled in Long Term Disability (LTD) insurance and lose eligibility for the coverage for a reason other than retirement, you may be eligible to purchase the insurance under the group conversion policy. For questions and additional information about LTD Conversion, please contact Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas at 1-866-628-2606.