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GROUP INSURANCE BENEFITS

For purposes of group insurance benefits, including COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) coverage, and HIPAA provisions (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired is an agency of the State of Texas and, as such, participates in the State's Group Benefits Program which is administered by the Texas Employees Retirement System. All rules, regulations, and procedures of that program shall be observed.

CONTINUATION DURING MILITARY LEAVE

An employee who is absent from a position of employment by reason of service in the uniformed services may elect to continue coverage under a health plan. The maximum period of coverage of such a person and the person's dependents shall be the lesser of:

  1. The 24-month period beginning on the date on which the person's absence begins; or
  2. The day after the date on which the person fails to apply for or return to a position of employment. [See DEC]

38 U.S.C. 4317

CONTINUATION DURING FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT

During any period of leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the School shall allow the employee to maintain coverage under the State's Group Benefits Program for the duration of the leave, at the level, and under the conditions, coverage would have been provided if the employee had continued in employment continuously for the duration of the leave. The School may recover any premiums it paid for maintaining coverage during a period of unpaid FMLA leave if the employee fails to return from leave after the FMLA leave, has expired and the failure to return is for a reason other than the continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition that entitles the employee to FMLA leave, or other circumstances beyond the employee's control.

29 U.S.C. 2614(c); 29 CFR 825.209, 825.210, 825.213 [See also DEC]

PREMIUM CONVERSION

Employees shall participate in the State's premium conversion program which enables employees' insurance premiums to be paid with pre-tax dollars.

CAFETERIA PLAN

Employees may participate in the State's cafeteria plan (TexFlex) which includes the option of paying eligible health care expenses, and eligible dependent care expenses with pre-tax, rather than after-tax, dollars.

Adopted:          3/7/80

Amended:        5/28/92, 11/17/95, 1/24/97, 11/6/98, 11/19/99, 11/21/03, 11/18/05, 4/3/09

Reviewed:        11/22/02, 1/26/07, 11/16/18