College Policy Number/Title:
Several medical and dental plans are available to employees and are offered in cooperation with the Howard County Government. Literature on all of the plans, as well as costs for current plans, is available in the office of human resources.
The college defrays a portion of the cost of health and dental plans for full-time, position control/budgeted employees who elect this coverage. Part-time, position control/budgeted employees may enroll in health and dental plans; however, there is no subsidy on this cost and these employees must pay the full monthly cost to the college. The employee's share of health insurance premiums falls under the Howard Community College Flexible Benefits Plan in accordance with Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) code. As such, employee premiums are paid on a pre-tax basis. If the full-time employee waives election of health insurance, the employee is entitled to a credit that can be applied toward other pre-tax benefits (dental insurance or flexible spending accounts) or be taken as additional taxable income. Any employee enrolling in health or dental insurance is required to provide documentation to verify dependents. Eligible dependents include children up to the age of 26, spouses, and same-sex domestic partners as discussed in policy 63.07 Benefits. Full-time, position control/budgeted employees who do not elect health coverage are required to provide proof of coverage by another health plan in order to receive the HCC credit. Employees must enroll for their selected plan(s) within the first 30 days of employment and must include all family members, including same-sex domestic partners, to be covered. Coverage under all health and dental benefit plans begins on the first day of the month after date of hire.
The annual open enrollment period is the designated time of year for employees to make changes to benefit plan elections except in certain life status changes such as marriage, birth, divorce, etc. It is the employee's responsibility to notify the office of human resources of such changes within thirty days of the life status change. Benefits for newborn or recently adopted children are effective as of the date of birth or date of adoption.
If an employee does not elect to continue health insurance coverage during an extended leave without pay (see procedure 63.08.08, Leave Without Pay), the employee must re-enroll upon return to employment.
If an employee separates from employment, benefits will remain in effect through the end of the month of separation. Employees may be eligible to continue benefits beyond separation for specific events such as retirement or COBRA as discussed in procedure 63.07.04, Extension of Group Health Benefits.
For additional information regarding group health benefits, refer to the Benefits Guide document available on the Human Resources web page.
Effective Date: 5/11/12