Summary Plan Description
A federal law, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was designed to protect the health care coverage of individuals who switch from one job to another or leave a job without taking another one. To achieve this goal of making health care coverage more "portable," the law limits the use of preexisting condition exclusions and eligibility restrictions based on health status.
This plan does not have any preexisting condition exclusions but does have a 12-month waiting period for transplants (please see Waiting Period). Prior medical coverage does not entitle you or your dependents to credit toward the 12-month waiting period, except for continuous coverage under the Employee Health Plan and the SecureHorizons Medicare Advantage Plan.
If your coverage under this plan ends and you become eligible for a new health plan, the length of time you were covered under this plan may be used to reduce the length of any preexisting condition exclusion period contained in your new plan. A certificate of creditable coverage provides information regarding your period of coverage under this plan, which your new plan may need to credit coverage. You should check with your new plan's administrator to verify whether your new plan has a limitation for preexisting conditions and how creditable coverage is applied under that plan. Present your certificate to your new plan so that your new plan will know to apply your creditable coverage to the preexisting condition exclusion period under your new plan.
"Creditable coverage" includes most types of health insurance such as COBRA or any group health plan or insurance policy (whether or not it is employer-sponsored), any individual health insurance policy or program, Medicare, Medicaid, military-sponsored health care, program of the Indian Health Service, state health benefits risk pool, State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), foreign plans and US government plan, the federal employees health benefit program, a public health plan, and/or any health benefit plan provided under the Peace Corps.
This plan will automatically provide a certificate of creditable coverage when plan coverage ends or when you become entitled to COBRA Continuation Coverage, as well as when your COBRA Continuation Coverage ceases. You may also request a certificate of creditable coverage before losing coverage, or within 24 months after losing coverage, by contacting the Trust Office. A written request for a certificate of creditable coverage must be mailed to the Trust Office and should include the names of the individuals for whom a certificate is requested (including spouse, domestic partner and dependent children) and the address where the certificate should be mailed. The address of the Trust Office is on the back cover of this booklet. A copy of the certificate will be mailed by the plan to the address indicated.
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