Have dependents graduating this month? Action needed to maintain benefits St. Thomas Newsroom December 14, 2009 Do you have a child graduating from college this month? If so, that child will no longer qualify as a dependent for purposes of medical, dental and vision coverage. To ensure that your child is not left without coverage, notify the Benefits Office in the Human Resources Department as soon as possible. Contact Becky James, (651) 962-6497, for assistance. Federal and state laws hold you responsible for notifying UST within 60 days of the “qualifying event.” For dependent children, qualifying events include attaining age 19, graduating from high school or college and not immediately continuing an education, or upon attaining age 25 even if the dependent is a full-time student. (Note: Other events also require you to take action, but this article addresses only the loss of dependent status issue. ) Within 14 days of notifying the Benefits Office of your child losing dependent status, COBRA papers, which explain continuation rights, will be mailed to the former dependent child. OptumHealth, UST’s COBRA administrator, will mail the paperwork to the last known address. If there is an updated address, please let us know. Federal COBRA and state continuation laws allow children losing dependent status the opportunity to continue medical, dental and vision coverage for up to 36 months at their own cost. Failure to give us notice of a qualifying event within the 60 day time period allowed will result in the forfeiture of continuation rights for the child. Note that there are a number of employee-notification responsibilities. If you are unfamiliar with your other responsibilities, go to the Human Resources Department Web page or contact one of the Benefits Team members for a copy of the COBRA Notice. This notice outlines various actions you must take upon the occurrence of certain events.