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Employers

Employer Bulletin

State Agencies and Local ICI Employers
Vol. 21, Local I
September 10, 2004

Wisconsin Act 162, Military Leave and Income Continuation Insurance

The Wisconsin Group Insurance Board (GIB) took action at its August 24, 2004, meeting to implement the provisions of Wisconsin Act 162 (military leave) in the State and Local Income Continuation Insurance (ICI) plans.

Wisconsin Act 162, published March 30, 2004, applies to State employees activated for military service on or after January 1, 2003. This law allows state employees on military leave to receive benefits and state salary (less military pay and allowances), as well as accumulate sick leave and vacation, as though no interruption of state service had occurred.

ICI plan provisions address coverage and benefits for individuals on unpaid leaves of absence. With the enactment of Wisconsin Act 162, State employees activated to serve military duty are no longer considered on unpaid leaves of absence as long as the employee did not terminate employment. Although the law only addresses state employees at this time, these provisions adopted by the GIB are also applicable to the Local Government ICI plan.

The GIB passed a plan amendment to address the following with regard to military leaves of absence under Wisconsin Act 162.

Coverage

  • Initial Coverage

    An employee may meet the six months eligibility criteria for ICI coverage while on military leave. Employers will follow standard enrollment processes and deduct premiums for employees who meet this criteria while on military leave and who file an ICI application with the employer prior to the military leave. Persons empowered through an employee’s Power of Attorney may sign the ICI application for the employee on military leave and premium deductions and coverage will begin.

    Employees who meet the six month eligibility criteria while on military leave, but fail to apply for coverage, have 30 days from the date they return to work from active military leave to apply. The employer must receive the employee’s completed Income Continuation Insurance Application (ET-2307) within 30 days of the return to work. Coverage is effective the first of the month following the receipt of the completed application by the employer.

  • Coverage Under Deferred Enrollment Opportunity

    Wisconsin Act 162 provides that State employees will continue to accumulate sick leave while on active military leave. An employee on military leave who accumulates sufficient sick leave to be eligible to file for ICI coverage under the deferred enrollment opportunity may submit an ICI application (ET-2307) for coverage to the employer within 30 days of the return to work. The employer must receive the employee’s completed Income Continuation Insurance Application (ET-2307) within 30 days of the return to work. Coverage is effective the first of the month following the receipt of the completed application by the employer.

  • Lapsed Coverage

    Employees with ICI coverage who allow that coverage to lapse while on military leave, can reinstate coverage within 30 days of the return to work by filing a completed ICI application (ET-2307). The employer must receive the employee’s completed Income Continuation Insurance Application (ET-2307) within 30 days of the return to work. Premiums resume at the same amount as prior to the leave unless an interim annual premium or salary adjustment occurred (reported to the WRS). If the State employee’s military salary is greater than the state employment salary, the employer only reports the earnings that the employee would have earned under state employment.

  • Cancelled Coverage

    An employee who completed an ICI application (ET-2307) canceling coverage due to military leave is eligible to re-enroll for coverage within 30 days of returning to work after military leave without being subject to evidence of insurability. The employer must receive the employee’s completed Income Continuation Insurance Application (ET-2307) within 30 days of the return to work. Coverage is effective the first of the month following the receipt of the completed application by the employer.

Note: A state employee, returned from military leave and seeking ICI coverage, who fails to submit a completed ICI application to the employer (ET-2307) within 30 days of returning to work must apply through Evidence of Insurability (ET-2308) or when they next reach a deferred enrollment level.

Retroactivity

  • Wisconsin Act 162 applies to employees activated on or after January 1, 2003. For ICI purposes, these employees will be considered to have been on paid leave regardless of whether their military salary exceeded their WRS earnings.

    The GIB has determined that there will be a limited opportunity to reinstate ICI coverage for individuals activated on or after January 1, 2003 and returned to work before the GIB amended the ICI plan (August 24, 2004):

    a) If ICI coverage was in place at the time of the military leave, there should be no break in coverage and any back premiums must be collected.

    b) An ICI application (ET-2307) must be received by the employer no later than September 30, 2004 from employees without coverage who have already returned from military leave and who have met initial or deferred enrollment eligibility requirements while on military leave.

Benefits

  • ICI benefits are not payable for disabilities caused by acts of war (direct or indirect). However, an employee may have or develop a medical condition unrelated to war service that may qualify the employee for ICI benefits.

Employer Completion of the ET-2307 under Military Leave Provisions

When completing the ET-2307 for an employee returning from military leave, the employer must complete the Reason for Eligibility section and check the box marked Other (specify) and indicate “Military Leave – Returned to Work MM/DD/CCYY.”

Questions concerning the impact of Wisconsin Act 162 on ICI eligibility can be directed to the Employer Communication Center at 608-264-7900.

A copy of the ICI plan amendment will be made available on ETF’s Internet site at etf.wi.gov.

 

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