Updated on April 28, 2015

COVERAGE END DATES AND PROCEDURES

Advise any employee who is laid off of the following GIC coverage end dates:

Date employment ends                                            GIC coverage end date

January 1-31                                                               February 28

February 1-29                                                             March 31

March 1-31                                                                 April 30

April 1-30                                                                    May 31

May 1-31                                                                    June 30

June 1-30                                                                    July 31

July 1-31                                                                     August 31

August 1-31                                                                September 30

September 1-30                                                          October 31

October 1-31                                                              November 30

November 1-30                                                           December 31

December 1-31                                                          January 31

You are responsible for collecting the employee’s share of GIC premiums through the coverage end date.

When an employee is laid off, municipalities must advise the employee of their right to continue group insurance coverage.  All persons terminating service must be given a copy of the COBRA notice at the time of their leaving state service.  Advise the employee that health coverage ends at the end of the month following the month the employee ends municipal service. 

LAYOFF PROCEDURES – EXCEPT FOR SCHOOL DEPT. EMPLOYEES WHO PREPAY FOR THE SUMMER

When an employee is laid off:

  1. Advise the employee that health coverage ends at the end of the month the employee ends municipal service. You are responsible for collecting the employee’s share of premiums through the coverage end date.
  2. Complete Municipal Employment Status Change Form (Form-1AMUN) on behalf of the employee.  For the termination reason, enter “layoff” and indicate the last day of work (excluding vacation time). Photocopy the completed Municipal Employment Status Change Form (Form-1AMUN) and file it in the employee’s personnel file.
  3. Send the original Municipal Employment Status Change Form (Form-1AMUN) to the GIC.

LAYOFF PROCEDURES - FOR SCHOOL DEPT. EMPLOYEES WHO PREPAY THEIR GIC PREMIUMS FOR THE SUMMER (TEACHERS)

  1. When a school department employee is laid off at the end of the school year and has prepaid his/her health premiums through the summer: Complete Municipal Employment Status Change Form (Form-1AMUN) on behalf of the employee.  For the termination reason, enter “layoff”.  For the termination date, enter the last day of work in the School Department Termination section (excluding vacation/personal/sick time) and enter the premium paid through date for all premiums paid through the summer months.  GIC coverage will end on the premium paid through date.
  2. Photocopy the completed Municipal Employment Status Change Form (Form-1AMUN) and file it in the employee’s personnel file.
  3. Send the original Municipal Employment Status Change Form (Form-1AMUN) to the GIC.

The employee’s health options depend on his or her length of municipal service.  See the corresponding options and procedures below.  Options are listed in order of recommended selection.

BENEFIT OPTIONS: LAYOFF-NOT ELIGIBLE FOR RETIREMENT

Option 1: Health Connector coverage for Massachusetts residents

Benefit:  A choice of health insurance options with different benefits and prices.  Depending on which plan you choose, your monthly premium with the Health Connector could be lower than other coverage options.  Unlike COBRA coverage, Health Connector coverage does not have a maximum coverage period; you can continue coverage as long as you pay your premiums on time. 

Drawback:  Benefits may not be the same as the coverage you had through the GIC.  If the employee enrolls in Health Connector coverage, he/she is waiving his/her right to elect health insurance under the GIC’s COBRA or conversion options.  

Procedure: Instruct the employee to contact the Health Connector for information and enrollment: MAhealthconnector.org; 1-877-623-6765

Option 2:  Keep GIC health coverage for 39-weeks

Benefit:  Allows the employee to stay in the same health plan

Drawback:  Employee pays 100% of the premium (no municipal contribution). At the end of the 39-weeks, the former employee can switch to COBRA for the remaining 9 months of health coverage, for a total of 18 months coverage. 

Procedure:  If the employee elects 39-week coverage, have the employee check the 39-week coverage block on Municipal Employment Status Change Form (Form-1AMUN) and indicate his/her health selections and sign it before sending the form to the GIC.

Option 3:  Keep GIC Health coverage under COBRA

Benefit: Allows the employee to stay in the same health plan.

Drawback: Employee pays 100% of the full-cost premium plus 2% for administration (no municipal contribution).  Maximum coverage length – 18 months. 

Procedure:  If the employee elects COBRA, complete the following:

  1. Check the COBRA block on Municipal Employment Status Change Form (Form-1AMUN). 
  2. Photocopy the Municipal Employment Status Change Form (Form-1AMUN) and file in the employee’s personnel file. 
  3. Send original Municipal Employment Status Change Form (Form-1AMUN) to the GIC. 
  4. Give the employee a COBRA application (available on the GIC’s website www.mass.gov/gic/forms).  Let the employee know that he/she will also receive a COBRA application at home.  Advise the employee that although he/she has 60 days to elect COBRA coverage, the coverage is effective the first day of the month following the coverage end date (see chart above).  The longer the employee waits to send in the application, the more he/she will owe in retroactive premiums. Instruct the employee to complete and send the COBRA application to the GIC.

Option 4:  Convert to Non-Group Health coverage with current plan(s)

Benefit: Can keep coverage beyond 18 months.

Drawback: Benefits almost always less comprehensive than GIC plan coverage.

Procedure:

  1. Check non-group conversion on Municipal Employment Status Change Form (Form-1AMUN) before sending it to the GIC. 
  2. Instruct the employee to contact their health plan for a non-group conversion application, benefits, procedures and costs.

BENEFIT OPTIONS: Layoff - deferred retirement

Instruct the employee to contact their retirement board to confirm retirement eligibility.  If the employee is vested, but not yet eligible for, or chooses not to collect their monthly pension, we recommend that the employee elect Deferred Retirement coverage.  Under this option, the employee must keep his/her money in the retirement system until he/she retires.  If the employee will not receive health coverage elsewhere, he/she can elect to keep health coverage at the full cost premium until retirement.When the employee applies for their pension (at retirement) he/she should notify the GIC in order to pick up health coverage.

Deferred Retiree Coverage:

Keep health insurance paying 100% of the premium until retirement.  

Procedure:  Instruct the employee to check the deferred retiree block on Municipal Employment Status Change Form (Form-1AMUN), indicate his/her health selection and sign it before sending it to the GIC and include a letter from the Municipal Retirement Board

For the other alternatives, see the benefits, drawbacks, and procedures under NOT ELIGIBLE FOR RETIREMENT.

RETIREMENT

If the employee wishes to retire and collect a monthly pension, see the Retirement section for procedures.


This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission .