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Employers

Employer Bulletin

State Agencies
Vol. 17, State C
June 7, 2000

Changes in the State Group Health Insurance Program

New Law Affects Accumulated Unused Sick Leave

1999 Wisconsin Act 104 became effective on May 9, 2000. This law eliminates the time period in which state employes must begin using accumulated sick leave credits to pay state group health insurance premiums.

Previously, the law allowed sick leave credits to be escrowed (i.e., delay initiation of sick leave conversion credits) for up to ten years if a terminating insured employe or surviving dependent(s) had comparable health care coverage. Effective with the new law, eligible state employes or their surviving dependents can escrow their sick leave credits for an indefinite period. (Refer to the Group Health Insurance Employer Administration Manual (ET-1118) (REV 1/97), Subchapter 902, to determine who is eligible to convert the sick leave credits.)

Eligible state employes insured under the State Health Insurance Program at the time of termination may elect to escrow the sick leave accumulated credits (i.e., delay initiation of sick leave conversion credits). The employe can elect to escrow the sick leave for an indefinite period if continuously covered by other non-state comparable coverage.

The decision to escrow should be made upon termination of employment. The Sick Leave Escrow Application (ET-4305) form must be filed with ETF before the sick leave is converted and the deductions from the credits begin to pay health insurance premiums.

State employes insured under the State Health Insurance Program can call ETF to request a Sick Leave Escrow Application (ET-4305). You can direct employes with questions on accumulated sick leave conversion credits and escrowing sick leave credits to the ETF Call Center toll-free number at (877) 533-5020 or (608) 266-3285 (local Madison).

New Law Affects Members Currently in Escrow

1999 Wisconsin Act 104 contains a provision that allows persons who currently have leave credits escrowed to extend the ten-year limit to an indefinite period. It also allows persons who escrowed and later re-enrolled to be given an opportunity to again escrow the leave credits. The person must complete and submit an election form to ETF by November 1, 2000. ETF will send election forms to applicable retirees and dependents.

Clarification Regarding Additional Health Insurance Enrollment Opportunity for LTE or Less than Half-time Employe

Employer Bulletin Volume 15, State B (May 27, 1998), incorrectly indicated that two conditions must be met for the first time for Limited Term Employes (LTEs) and less than half-time employes who decline health insurance coverage to be eligible for another enrollment opportunity.

Instead, the Bulletin should have indicated that LTEs and less than half-time employes have another enrollment opportunity when two conditions are met simultaneously:

  • when their hours increase AND
  • they qualify for a higher share of employer contribution toward health insurance premiums.

Both conditions must be met simultaneously (increased hours and a higher share of employer contributions) for employes to be eligible to enroll.

Questions about this provision can be directed to the Employer Communication Center at (608) 264-7900.

Health Insurance Contacts

The list of Health Insurance Contacts (ET-1728) (REV 05/2000) has a new look. Instead of arranging the plans under type of inquiry (i.e., Membership and Coverage, Claims, Supplies), we organized the list alphabetically by plan and listed the inquiry types within each plan. In addition, many of the plans provided fax numbers. A copy of the Health Insurance Contacts(ET-1728) for May 2000 is attached. Questions about this list can be directed to the Employer Communication Center at (608) 264-7900.

 

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