Q&A: Free COBRA coverage | Hotel Trades Council (EN)

updated: July 7, 2021 at 18:16

During this health crisis, our union’s top priority has been keeping you and your loved ones in your health care. Through the power of our union contract, we were able to win many months of free health coverage for you and your co-workers. Now, thousands of laid-off members are eligible for up to six months of free health insurance from April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021 under the US bailout.

Reading: Free cobra insurance who qualifies

read our full questions and answers about the program below.

1 Q: What do I need to do to get free health care?

r: To receive free health insurance through the American Rescue Plan, you must

  1. meet the eligibility criteria of the federal government (see q2) and
  2. request subsidized charges.
  3. 2 Q: Who is eligible for free charge coverage?

    a: According to official documents published by the Department of Labor, to be eligible for Free Cash, you:

    • must have a qualifying event for cobra (such as reduced hours or involuntary layoff) between 11/1/19 and 9/30/21;
    • must elect cobra continuation coverage;
    • must not be eligible for medicare; and
    • must not be eligible for coverage under any other group health plan, such as a plan sponsored by a new employer or a spouse’s employer.
    • 3 Q: Are my dependents eligible for free cobra coverage?

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      r: yes. all dependents who were previously covered by your health insurance plan before you lost coverage (and who are still eligible) can be included.

      4 Q: How do I sign up for free cobra?

      a: To receive free Cobra coverage, you must enroll directly with your employer-sponsored health plan.

      • Scenario A (New York City members): Laid-off union workers who previously participated in the union’s industry-wide benefit funds should visit the union’s website. hotelfunds.org benefit funds to sign up.
        • scenario b (employer health care): contact your human resources department or plan administrator directly for more details and watch for correspondence from your care plan medical.
          • Scenario C (Unite Here Health Plan 100, 105, 185, or 400): Cobra enrollment forms are available on your Unite Here Health Member Portal. visit uhh.org/rescue to register online.
          • 5 Q: How long will I receive free cobra coverage?

            a: If you are eligible and lost your health care coverage on or after November 1, 2019, you can get up to six months of subsidized cash from April 1, 2021 through April 30, 2021. September 2021.

            6 Q: What benefits will be covered?

            a: By enrolling and being accepted into the cobra subsidy program, individuals will have the same health care plan they had before losing coverage. For nyc members in the union health plan, this includes medical, pharmacy, dental, vision, hospitalization, mhap and epo coverage (if applicable). benefits not included in cobra coverage are hra card, short-term disability benefits, and life insurance policies.

            7 Q: What if I signed up for a health insurance plan in the Marketplace once I lost my employer-sponsored coverage?

            a: Enrolling in a health plan through the marketplace or directly through an insurance provider (such as metroplus or bluecross blueshield) does not disqualify you from receiving subsidized charges. If you are eligible and would like to enroll in free cobra, you must contact your new insurance provider to cancel your coverage.

            8 Q: What happens if I don’t return to work when the free charge coverage ends (for most members, on October 1, 2021)?

            a: if you have not returned to work and have not reinstated coverage through your job when your free pay ends, you must be eligible for a 60-day special enrollment period in the Marketplace to enroll in an out of health insurance plan again.

            9 Q: What is the deadline to register?

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            a: it’s not too late! You have 60 days to register from the date you receive your official billing notice in the mail. Most NYC members will receive this notice in late May, giving them until the end of July to sign up.

            10 Q: Will I have to pay anything out of pocket for the subsidized charge?

            to: no. the federal government will cover 100% of the cost of the coverage it collects for eligible individuals.

            11 Q: will the brooklyn and harlem health centers reopen?

            a: yes! The Brooklyn Health Center partially reopened on Monday, May 3. Initially, the health center will offer primary care visits, lab tests, and pharmacy only. We hope to eventually return to full service at the Brooklyn Health Center and reopen the Harlem Health Center soon.

            12 Q: What happens if I go back to work or qualify for health care through my spouse, a second job, or Medicare while I’m on Cobra?

            a: regaining health care through your union job or becoming eligible to enroll in health care through your spouse, a second job, or medicare will make you ineligible for the free charge subsidy. You must notify your bill provider immediately to inform them of these changes. if you don’t report the change, you could be subject to a significant penalty.

            For married individuals: Please note that the Special Enrollment Period to enroll in your spouse’s health care may have been extended during the COVID-19 crisis or up to one year. contact your spouse’s health plan to confirm. if you are eligible to receive medical care through your spouse, you are not eligible for the subsidy. notify your bill provider immediately.

            If you participate in the industry-wide benefit funds in New York City, please email [email protected] or call (212) 586-6400.

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