Reduction in Force Benefits
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is eligible for the Reduction in Force ("RIF") benefit?
- According to North Carolina General Statue (NCGS) § 135-48.40(b)(8), an employee who was employed for 12 or more months or has completed a contract term of employment of 10 or 11 months and whose employer was a local school administrative unit and whose job was eliminated because of a reduction in funds used to support the job or its responsibilities – and was covered by the State Health Plan at the time of separation from service – is eligible for the RIF benefit. The RIF employee shall be covered for a period of up to 12 months.
- Who pays for the coverage during the first 12 months?
- The employing unit pays the full cost for the former employee's coverage up until September 1, 2011. Effective September 1, 2011, RIF employees who are enrolled in the 80/20 Standard plan will be required to pay the premium for employee-only coverage. Employees enrolled in the 70/30 Basic plan will continue to have the full cost of their coverage paid by the employing unit.
The former employee is responsible for paying the full cost for dependent coverage.
- I was released from my position as part of a reduction in force ("RIF") and had dependents enrolled on my plan at the time of my RIF. What coverage options do I have for my dependents?
- You may elect to cover them under the RIF benefit. You would be responsible for paying 100% of the dependent premium. Your dependents would not be subject to the COBRA coverage period limitations, generally 18 months or the 2% COBRA administrative fee.
- What are my coverage options once my 12 months of coverage ends?
- You are eligible to continue on a fully contributory basis. Unlike COBRA, there is no limit to the coverage period. You may remain on the Plan for as long as you wish. In addition, there is not a 2% administrative fee like with COBRA coverage.
After the first 12 months of coverage, the former employee is responsible for the entire premium on a monthly basis. Former employees will be billed directly by BCBSNC.
- Due to a reduction in funds, my position has changed from full-time to part-time and I have over 12 months of service. Am I eligible for RIF health coverage?
- No. The position must have been eliminated in order to be eligible for RIF health coverage. You may elect to continue health coverage by paying the full cost of coverage if you are working 20 or more hours but less than 30 per week. If you are working less than 20 hours per week, you will have the option to enroll in COBRA.
- I have the 80/20 Standard plan. I would like to change to the 70/30 Basic plan when my RIF health coverage begins.
- The State Health Plan allows employees who have been RIF'd to change their health plan coverage (move from 80/20 to 70/30) as long as the request is made within 30 days from the date of separation from service or during annual enrollment.
- What do I do to continue my coverage through RIF?
- You may contact your HBR to verify that you are eligible for the RIF benefit. In addition, a COBRA offer will be mailed to you and will include an Application for Reduction in Force Health Coverage Benefit form (Form C334). If you think you qualify for RIF benefits, complete the employee section and forward the form to your former employer for them to confirm eligibility and enrollment.
- What if I decide not to continue benefits at the time of the RIF, but later decide I want to continue?
- The decision to continue or not continue benefits is binding and must be made directly after the termination of employment. Members electing not to continue coverage under RIF privileges directly after their employment terminates forfeit their right to coverage under the RIF benefit.
- If I decide not to continue coverage through the RIF benefits, can I still continue my coverage through COBRA?
- Forfeiting RIF privileges automatically forfeits COBRA privileges.
- Am I still eligible for the RIF benefit if I become re-employed?
- You will not be eligible if you become re-employed with the State (of North Carolina) or with another subsequent employer and are eligible for health coverage on a noncontributory basis.
- My employment ended June 30, 2011, but my health coverage doesn't end until July 31, 2011. Will my RIF health coverage begin August 1, 2011?
- North Carolina General Statue § 135-48.40(b)(8) states that employees shall be covered for a period of up to 12 months following a separation of service. Therefore, your RIF health coverage will begin July 1, 2011.
- Will the State Health Plan continue to be my primary health coverage if I have been RIF'd and also have Medicare?
- Because you are no longer actively employed, Medicare will become your primary health coverage and the State Health Plan will be secondary once your RIF health coverage begins. Therefore, it is important for you to enroll in Medicare Part B in order to receive your same level of coverage.
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