COBRA & Retiree Information

COBRA Coverage

The Federal law known as the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1985 requires that most employers sponsoring group health plans offer employees and their eligible dependents the opportunity for temporary extension of continuous coverage in instances when coverage under the plan would otherwise end.

A COBRA notification packet is mailed to an employee within 14 days of the date that Midwest Public Risk receives official confirmation of an employee’s separation from employment or change in eligibility status or loss of coverage whichever is later. The law requires that this packet be sent by mail to the last known address of the employee. This packet includes an official notice that outlines regulations and an enrollment form.

An eligible individual has 60 days from the date of the notice to elect COBRA coverage, which is effective retroactive to the last day of coverage under the Midwest Public Risk medical, vision and /or dental plan. The individual then has an additional 45 days from the date of COBRA election to make the first premium payment, made payable directly to Midwest Public Risk. Additional details will be provided in the materials enclosed in the COBRA notification packet.

For details of rights and obligations under this law, consult your Midwest Public Risk plan document.

For rate information, contact your employer or call Benefits Management at (877) 627-2481.

Retiree Coverage

Not all entities offer retiree coverage. To find out if your entity offers this option, please contact your Human Resources Department. (Teacher’s First Choice plan Members in Missouri: the retiree eligibility requirements are governed by your state statutes. Your employer representative will provide you with your options as the eligibility and termination provisions of this section are not necessarily applicable to you.)

To be eligible to continue with MPR plans as a retiree, the employee must have 10 or more years of continuous service as a FULL-TIME EMPLOYEE with an MPR entity and otherwise qualify as a retiree with the entity. Eligible retirees can be covered until they reach Medicare eligibility. Medicare eligibility is a terminating event for retiree coverage through MPR. Dependents covered at that time may qualify for COBRA continuation coverage for up to 36 months.

If the gap between retirement and Medicare eligibility is 18 months or less, the Retiree may want to consider COBRA instead of electing a Retiree plan since the COBRA premium is the active rate plus 2% and is less costly than the Retiree Plans.

If the employee does not have 10 or more years of continuous full-time service, this would be handled as an employee termination and the only option available is COBRA continuation. The employee will be notified of COBRA rights at the time of separation.

Plans Available to Retiree

Upon entitlement to Eligible Retiree coverage, the retiree may elect to move from one plan to another plan. At open enrollment, the eligible Retiree will have the same rights as any active employee including the right to choose between MPR health plans offered by their entity. However, once a reduced cost benefit plan is selected, there is no opportunity to return to a higher cost benefit plan.

If a retiree does not elect dental or vision at the time of their retirement, they are not eligible to participate in the future. Retiree Dental and Vision coverage can be continued indefinitely as long as your entity continues to offer those plans.

Medicare Options for Medicare Eligible Retirees

MPR has partnered with Humana to offer a Humana Group Medicare Employer PPO plan to any Retirees who are Medicare eligible. This Group Medicare plan provides a wide range of medical services including a prescription drug plan. If you are familiar with Medicare plans, it is technically termed Medicare Part C, or oftentimes is referred to as a “Medicare Advantage” plan. The cost for this PPO plan is very low as compared to other Medicare options and supplements. The MPR Medicare PPO plan has no annual deductible, primary care office visit copay of $15, specialist copay of $35 and various other copays for emergency, and inpatient and outpatient hospital care. To participate, you must also enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B.

Contact Humana for Group Medicare plan information.

Humana representatives are available to explain the plan in more detail. They can be reached at Humana Group Medicare Customer Care at (866) 396-8810 (TTY: 711), Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Central Time. Please mention “Midwest Public Risk” when you call.

This option is available to any Medicare eligible former retiree or soon to be retired employee of an MPR entity. To obtain a packet, please contact an MPR employee benefits staff member by calling (816) 292-7520 or email your mailing address to the Health Benefits Team.

How to Enroll for MPR Retiree Coverage

Your Human Resources representative is responsible for providing the retiree with the appropriate information, rates, and forms to enroll for retiree coverage. Please contact them for details regarding your options. Enrollment forms must be submitted within 31 days. (TFC retirees have up to one year from the retirement date to enroll.)

COBRA & Retiree Billings:

Benefits Management will conduct monthly billing and premium collection. COBRA and Retirees have a choice of payment methods: direct pay by check or preauthorized bank withdrawal. Benefits Management mails monthly invoices to home addresses approximately 1 week prior to the due date. Click here for an ACH Form.

Payment of premium is due by the end of the month for which premium is due. Nonpayment of premium will result in termination of coverage. Once coverage is terminated, it is not eligible for reinstatement. Payments must be made payable to Midwest Public Risk and mailed to Midwest Public Risk, PO Box 1265, Mission, KS 66222 (Missouri) or Midwest Public Risk, PO Box 1306, Mission, Kansas 66222 (Kansas).