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Group Health Benefits Procedure - 63.07.03

College Policy Number/Title:

Howard Community College (HCC) offers several medical and dental plans to employees 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 and on the portal.

The college defrays a portion of the cost of health and dental plans for full-time budgeted and temporary with benefits employees who elect this coverage, as well as for employees who are part-time by college definition but considered full-time under the standards of the federal Affordable Care Act (called "part-time-ACA"). Part-time budgeted and temporary with benefits employees who are not ACA-eligible 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 or part-time-ACA 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 spouses and children up to the age of 26 as discussed in policy 63.07, Benefits. Full-time budgeted, temporary with benefits, and part-time-ACA 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 plans within the first 30 calendar days of employment and must include all family members 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 the occurrence of 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 calendar days of the life status change. Benefit updates that occur due to life status changes are effective on the date of the life status change. If an employee separates from employment, medical and dental 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: 04/12/19

President's Office Use:  VPAF

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