This was posted on the Heller Ehrman external website. Can someone clarify whether this means those of us terminated on 10/10/2008 and 10/17/2008 are covered through November?
Update: I wanted to excerpt this from the comments since it seems to be spot on in terms of whether or not you are covered, and in what manner, if you were terminated on 10/10 or 10/17:
1) Health insurance coverage from Heller is provided on a monthly basis, and when employment is terminated (voluntarily or otherwise) you continued to be covered through the end of that calendar month.
Corollary a: Anyone terminated 10/10 or 10/17 would be covered and paid through for 10/31.
(2) For coverage to extend after the calendar month of termination, you must elect for coverage through COBRA. The firm must offer you the option of remaining covered under your current plan, so long as that plan exists.
Corollary b: Any terminated employee, to be covered from 11/1 through 11/30, must elect COBRA. In any event the cost must be borne by the employee.
Corollary c: COBRA coverage through Cigna will no longer be available after 11/30, since the plan won’t exist anymore.
Corollary d: COBRA coverage through Kaiser may continue to be available after 11/30, but Heller might not know when it will expire until 30 days beforehand.
Coverage provided under our group health insurance plans with Kaiser and CIGNA remains in effect, including COBRA coverage available through those plans. Over the past month we have engaged in extensive negotiations with CIGNA that were complicated by the fact that the firm owes CIGNA a substantial amount of money. Those negotiations resulted in an agreement — reached earlier this afternoon — whereby CIGNA consented to continue health insurance coverage in force for all plan participants but only through November 30, 2008. We do not expect CIGNA to agree to continued coverage on a group basis beyond that date. Termination of the CIGNA plan effective November 30, 2008 will result in termination of COBRA coverage for CIGNA plan participants effective on that date, as well as termination of coverage for the spouses/partners of retired shareholders insured through CIGNA effective on that date.
If you are insured under the CIGNA group health insurance plan you will receive a separate formal communication from the firm announcing the termination of the CIGNA coverage. That communication will also outline health insurance options available to you, including options potentially available to you for converting your CIGNA coverage to an individual policy, as well as options available to you under HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996).
The Kaiser group health insurance plan remains in force. We are not able to predict at this time whether or when that plan might terminate, but under the plan Kaiser is obligated to provide the firm with at least 30 days notice of its intent to terminate coverage. We will promptly advise all Kaiser participants in the event we receive such termination notice.
We are pleased to report that the work required to “unfreeze” the Heller Ehrman LLP 401(k) Retirement Savings and Profit Sharing Plan has been completed. You will be able to take a distribution from the Plan beginning Friday, October 31. With the exception of a small Vanguard record-keeping fee ($3.75), no costs or fees associated with the Plan have been assessed against participant accounts.
All participants are required to take a distribution by November 30. If you wish to pay off all or part of a loan before taking a distribution, please visit http://www.hellerehrman.com for the loan payoff form and instructions. You will receive a more formal announcement of this information from the Plan Administrator.