1.9 CONTINUED COVERAGE WHILE IN UNIFORMED SERVICE
If an Eligible Employee performs service in the Uniformed Service of the United States, federal law provides certain rights to continued coverage under this Plan. An Eligible Employee may choose to continue coverage for up to a maximum of 24 months from the date that service commences (unless the Eligible Employee or Dependents have a right to a longer period of continued coverage as described in Section 14).
The term “Uniformed Service” means the Armed Forces (including the Coast Guard), the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard when engaged in active duty for training, inactive duty training, or full-time National Guard duty, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, and any other category of persons designated by the President in time of war or emergency. Voluntary and involuntary service are covered, as are various types of duty: active duty, active and inactive duty for training, National Guard duty under Federal statute, absence from employment for fitness-for-duty examination, and performance of funeral honor duty.
If an Employee (and his or her eligible Dependents) is eligible for benefits as of the date of entry into the Uniformed Service, and the Employee’s absence is due to a Uniformed Service leave of 31 days or less, coverage will be continued at no cost to the Employee. The Employee will be credited with Dollars Bank contributions necessary to keep coverage in effect as if the Employee had worked in covered employment with a Contributing Employer during the period of service.
If an Eligible Employee (and his or her eligible Dependents) is eligible for benefits as of the date of entry into the Uniformed Service of the United States, and the Employee’s absence is due to a Uniformed Service leave of 31 days or more, the Employee or eligible Dependent(s) may elect to continue coverage by: (1) using available Dollars Bank funds, or (2) self-payment under the provisions of the Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). An Employee electing to continue coverage need not use his/her Dollars Bank and may always pay the required premium and preserve the Dollars Bank account, but if he/she chooses to use his/her Dollars Bank to pay USERRA premiums, the portion of the Dollars Bank that is used will not be recredited to the Employee upon reinstatement.
A premium for continuation coverage under USERRA will be in an amount established by the Trust. Such premium shall be payable in monthly installments. The maximum length of USERRA continuation coverage is the lesser of:
- 24 months beginning on the day that the Uniformed Service leave commences; or
- a period ending on the day after the Eligible Employee fails to return to employment within the time allowed by USERRA.
If health care expenses are incurred by the Employee or Dependents during a period of Uniformed Service leave, and those expenses are submitted to the Plan and benefits are paid by the Plan, the Employee will be deemed to have chosen continued coverage for the month(s) beginning when the Employee entered Uniformed Service leave through the last month in which those health care expenses were incurred. In this case, available funds will be deducted from the Employee’s Dollars Bank account to provide eligibility to the extent possible.
Reinstatement of Eligibility following Uniformed Service
If an Employee was eligible for benefits on the date of entry into the Uniformed Service and upon completion of service the Employee notifies the Employer of his or her intent to return to employment as specified in USERRA, the Employee’s eligibility will pick up as it was the day before the Employee entered into Uniformed Service.
The Plan pays no benefits for conditions incurred or aggravated during performance of duties in the Uniformed Service.
If there is any conflict between these provisions and USERRA, the minimum requirements of USERRA shall govern.