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Explanation of rights to continue healthcare coverage under COBRA
Determining the quality of care offered by a center is difficult at this time. As of early 2006, no organization had taken on the role of accrediting treatment centers specifically for their quality of care and ability to treat eating disorders or bulimia nervosa.

The right to COBRA continuation coverage was created by a federal law, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA). COBRA continuation coverage can become available to you when you would otherwise lose your group health coverage. It can also become available to other members of your family who are covered under the Plan when they would otherwise lose their group health coverage. This general notice does not fully describe COBRA or other rights. For additional information about your rights and obligations under the Plan and under federal law, you should review the Plan's Summary Plan Description or contact the Plan Administrator.

What is COBRA continuation coverage?

COBRA continuation coverage is a continuation of Plan coverage when coverage would otherwise end because of a life event known as a "qualifying event." Specific qualifying events are listed below. After a qualifying event, COBRA continuation coverage must be offered to each person who is a "qualified beneficiary." You, your spouse, and your dependent children could become qualified beneficiaries if coverage under a Plan is lost because of a qualifying event. Under the Plan, qualified beneficiaries who elect COBRA continuation coverage must pay for COBRA continuation coverage.

If you are an employee, you will become a qualified beneficiary if you lose your coverage under the Plan because either one of the following qualifying events happens:

  • Your hours of employment are reduced, or
  • Your employment ends for any reason other than your gross misconduct.
If you are the spouse of an employee, you will become a qualified beneficiary if you lose your coverage under the Plan because any of the following qualifying events happens:
  • Your spouse dies;
  • Your spouse's hours of employment are reduced;
  • Your spouse's employment ends for any reason other than his or her gross misconduct;
  • Your spouse becomes entitled to Medicare benefits (under Part A, Part B, or both); or
  • You become divorced or legally separated from your spouse.
Your dependent children will become qualified beneficiaries if they lose coverage under the Plan because any of the following qualifying events happens:
  • The parent-employee dies;
  • The parent-employee's hours of employment are reduced;
  • The parent-employee's employment ends for any reason other than his or her gross misconduct;
  • The parent-employee becomes entitled to Medicare benefits (Part A, Part B, or both);
  • The parents become divorced or legally separated; or
  • The child stops being eligible for coverage under the plan as a "dependent child."
A child of the covered employee who is receiving benefits under the Plan pursuant to a qualified medical child support order (QMCSO) received by the employer during the covered employee's period of employment is entitled to the same rights to elect COBRA as an eligible dependent child of the covered employee.

When is COBRA coverage available?

The Plan offers COBRA continuation coverage to qualified beneficiaries only after the Plan Administrator has been notified that a qualifying event has occurred. When the qualifying event is the end of employment or reduction of hours of employment, death of the employee, or the employee becomes entitled to Medicare benefits (under Part A, Part B, or both), the employer must notify the Plan Administrator of the qualifying event.

When the beneficiary must give notice of a qualifying event

For the other qualifying events (divorce or legal separation of the employee and spouse or a dependent child's losing eligibility for coverage as a dependent child), the you or someone on your behalf must notify the Plan Administrator or its designee in writing within 60 days after the qualifying event occurs, using the procedures specified on the next page under "Notice Procedures." If these procedures are not followed or if the notice is not provided in writing to the Plan Administrator or its designee during the 60 day notice period, any spouse or dependent child who loses coverage is not offered the option to elect continuation coverage.

How is COBRA Coverage Provided?

Once the Plan Administrator or its designee receives timely notice that a qualifying event has occurred, COBRA continuation coverage is offered to the qualified beneficiaries. Each qualified beneficiary has an independent right to elect COBRA continuation coverage. Covered employees may elect COBRA continuation coverage for their spouses, and parents may elect COBRA continuation coverage on behalf of their children. For each qualified beneficiary who elects COBRA continuation coverage, COBRA continuation coverage will begin on the date that plan coverage would otherwise have been lost. If you or your spouse or dependent children do not elect continuation coverage within the 60 day election period, the right to elect continuation coverage will be lost.

COBRA continuation coverage is a temporary continuation of coverage. When the qualifying event is the death of the employee, the employee's becoming entitled to Medicare benefits (under Part A, Part B, or both), your divorce or legal separation, or a dependent child's losing eligibility as a dependent child, COBRA continuation coverage lasts for up to a total of 36 months. When the qualifying event is the end of employment or reduction of the employee's hours of employment, and the employee became entitled to Medicare benefits less than 18 months before the qualifying event, COBRA continuation coverage for qualified beneficiaries other than the employee lasts until 36 months after the date of Medicare entitlement. For example, if a covered employee becomes entitled to Medicare 8 months before the date on which his employment terminates, COBRA continuation coverage for his spouse and children can last up to 36 months after the date of Medicare entitlement, which is equal to 28 months after the date of the qualifying event (36 months minus 8 months). Otherwise, when the qualifying event is the end of employment or reduction of the employee's hours of employment, COBRA continuation coverage generally lasts for only up to a total of 18 months. There are two ways in which this 18-month period of COBRA continuation coverage can be extended.

Disability extension of 18-month period of continuation coverage

If you or anyone in your family covered under the Plan is determined by the Social Security Administration to be disabled and you notify the Plan Administrator in a timely fashion, you and your entire family may be entitled to receive up to an additional 11 months of COBRA continuation coverage, for a total maximum of 29 months. The disability would have to have started at some time before the 60th day of COBRA continuation coverage and must last at least until the end of the 18-month period of continuation coverage. To qualify for the disability extension, the qualified beneficiary must also provide the Plan Administrator with notice of the disability determination on a date that is both within 60 days after the date of the determination and before the end of the original 18 month maximum coverage. You must follow the procedures specified in the section "Notice Procedures" on page 3.

If a disabled qualified beneficiary is determined by the Social Security Administration to no longer be disabled, you must notify the employer of that fact within 30 days after the Social Security Administration's determination.

Second qualifying event extension of 18-month period of continuation coverage

If your family experiences another qualifying event while receiving 18 months of COBRA continuation coverage, the spouse and dependent children in your family can get up to 18 additional months of COBRA continuation coverage, for a maximum of 36 months, if notice of the second qualifying event is properly given to the Plan. This extension may be available to the spouse and any dependent children receiving continuation coverage if the employee or former employee dies, becomes entitled to Medicare benefits (under Part A, Part B, or both), gets divorced or legally separated, or if the dependent child stops being eligible under the Plan as a dependent child, but only if the event would have caused the spouse or dependent child to lose coverage under the Plan had the first qualifying event not occurred. The Plan Administrator must be notified of the second qualifying event within 60 days.


  
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Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder in which a person engages in binge eating (eating a lot of food in a short time) followed by some type of behavior to prevent weight gain from the food that was eaten. This behavior can take two forms: self-induced vomiting, misuse of enemas, laxatives, diet pills (called purging) and excessive exercise, fasting, or diabetic omission of insulin (called non-purging). Some people with bulimia nervosa may also starve themselves for periods of time before binge eating again. Bulimia nervosa has important mental, emotional, and physical aspects that require consideration during treatment.

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