Your Peace of Mind:
If you or a covered dependent loses coverage in one of the Marathon Petroleum Company plans listed below as a result of a separation of employment or another qualifying event (such as employee death, divorce or loss of dependent status), you or your dependent may be eligible to continue coverage for a period of time under COBRA. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the basics of COBRA continuation coverage. Should there be any conflict between the information below and the provisions of the official plan documents, the provisions of the official plan documents will be followed.
- COBRA Overview
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) requires companies to provide the opportunity for continuation of certain benefits when coverage is lost as a result of certain events such as separation of employment or loss of dependent status.
If eligible, you can elect COBRA coverage for the following plans:
- Health Care Spending Account (HCSA)
- Marathon Petroleum Health Reimbursement Account (MPHRA)
In the case of divorce or loss of dependent status, you must notify the Marathon Petroleum Benefit Service Center within 60 days after the qualifying event to be eligible for COBRA, and election to enroll in COBRA coverage must be made within 60 days of receiving a COBRA notice.
Note: Employee Assistance Program (EAP) coverage continues for you and your household members, at no cost to you, for 36 months following separation of employment or loss of dependent status.
- COBRA Guidelines
There are specific steps that must be followed to qualify for and/or enroll in COBRA coverage. If you or a dependent loses coverage under certain Marathon Petroleum plans for certain reasons, such as termination of employment, employee/retiree death, divorce or loss of dependent status – and the loss of coverage results in qualification for COBRA – you should be aware of the following general guidelines.
- In the case of divorce or a child’s loss of dependent status, you (the covered employee or the affected dependent) are responsible for notifying the Marathon Petroleum Benefits Service Center within 60 days after a qualifying event in order to preserve COBRA continuation rights.
- The 60-day time frame is different than the 31-day time frame that an employee has to make election changes to their plan coverage as an active employee that may be related to certain qualifying events. For example, an employee needs to notify The Benefits Service Center within 31 days of the effective date of a divorce (including the date of the divorce) in order to change their coverage level from Employee & Spouse to Employee Only; failure to do so will result in the employee having to continue to pay Employee & Spouse premiums for the remainder of the year, even though only the employee will remain eligible for coverage.
- MPC has a process in place to automatically offer COBRA continuation coverage when a dependent child’s coverage ends due to aging out (end of the month in which the child turns age 26), so it is not necessary to notify the company of such event.
- Marathon Petroleum notifies its COBRA vendor, PayFlex, on a weekly basis of those who have qualifying events for COBRA eligibility.
- If you (or your covered dependents) were covered by the plan(s) at the time of the qualifying event, COBRA will be offered for the following plans: Health Plan, Dental, Vision and Health Care Spending Account (HCSA).
- PayFlex will send a COBRA enrollment package to the last known address on record with Marathon Petroleum. In the case of a dependent, this will be the address of the Marathon Petroleum employee/retiree, unless you have provided Marathon Petroleum a separate address for the dependent.
- PayFlex will mail the package within 14 days of receiving the information from Marathon Petroleum.
- Generally, coverage can be continued for up to 18 months in the case of a loss of employment, and up to 36 months in the case of an employee death, divorce or loss of dependent status (except for the Health Care Spending Account, may continue to the end of the plan year). Measurement is made from the date coverage is lost. COBRA coverage must be terminated if you obtain coverage under another group health plan or Medicare prior to reaching the end of the 18- or 36-month period.
- Coverage must be in the same option enrolled in prior to losing coverage. You can change your plan option during Annual Enrollment in the fall, with an effective date of the following January 1.
- The monthly premium will be 102% of the entire cost of such coverage. (Note that the Company pays approximately 80% of the Health Plan cost for an active employee member, so the premium for an active employee member represents only 20% of the total cost of Health Plan coverage. Therefore, the COBRA premium will be significantly higher than the premium that was paid as an active employee member.)
- When you receive the enrollment information, there is a 60-day time frame to elect coverage by notifying PayFlex. If coverage is elected, PayFlex must receive payment within 45 days of the election. The payment must be sufficient to cover the entire period retroactive back to the date of loss of coverage up to, and including, an advance payment for the upcoming month. Therefore, the first payment will likely be a multiple of two or more months of premiums.
- Benefit coverage under the Marathon Petroleum plans ceases as of the day of the qualifying event (or, in case of employee death, the following day), and will not be reinstated until PayFlex receives both a proper COBRA election and sufficient premium payment. If a provider calls to verify coverage prior to PayFlex’s receipt of the election and payment, they will be told that coverage has been terminated, and any claims incurred during this period will be rejected. However, once PayFlex receives the election and payment, coverage will be reinstated retroactive to the qualifying date, and any rejected claims can then be re-submitted for processing.
- There are certain ways to expedite the election process so that PayFlex can verify coverage, and claims can be processed sooner. When you receive the election packet, review it immediately and contact PayFlex with any questions. You can:
- Return the election form to PayFlex immediately; or
- Return a check for the required amount at the same time the election form is sent to PayFlex, instead of waiting for PayFlex to send an invoice after they have received the election.
- Payment for subsequent months must be received by PayFlex within the time frames stated on their invoices. Late payment may result in termination of COBRA coverage.
- COBRA Rates
COBRA rates are higher than regular employee rates because active employee rates are significantly subsidized by the Company. With COBRA, you pay the full cost of coverage plus a 2% administrative fee.