February 19, 2010
Re: Continuing Health Insurance for Dependants
I wanted to make sure you were aware of a program offered by the State of New Jersey for insuring dependants that may be less expensive than COBRA.
As you may know, a dependent child covered under the SHBP or SEHBP is automatically deleted from coverage as of December 31 of the year the child turns age 23. If the dependent is unable to obtain their own insurance, many parents choose COBRA to provide continuing health care coverage for their child.
However, the State of New Jersey offers what is usually referred to as Chapter 357 coverage. This is an insurance program, similar to COBRA, which can cover eligible dependants from ages 23 to 31. In many cases, it may be less expensive than COBRA. Information on the plan, as well as costs comparisons to COBRA, can be found at http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions/cobrav375.shtml .
The Division of Pensions and Benefits has a fact sheet that explains the basics of the plan at http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions/epbam/exhibits/factsheets/fact74.pdf .
Please share this information with anyone in your municipal family who may have dependants approaching the cutoff age.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.