SHBP Distributes Forms for Dependent Coverage

November 2010

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As this edition of the LOG went to press, the Seafarers Health and Benefits Plan (SHBP) mailed a letter to its participants explaining the steps for enrolling dependent children (up to age 26) in the Plan. That communication included a related, one-page form to be completed by the Plan participant for each child between the ages of 19 and 26.


The letter and form also are available (in PDF format) by clicking HERE.

According to the letter from SHBP Administrator Maggie Bowen, effective Jan. 1, 2011, the Plan will offer dependent health coverage to children up to age 26, provided the child is not offered health coverage through his or her employer. There is no cost to enroll.


“This new benefit is one of the changes the Plan will be implementing to comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” Bowen wrote. “We will provide details in the near future about other changes that will take effect next year as a result of this law.”


The letter goes on to explain that if an SHBP Participant has a child currently younger than 26 “who lost coverage or who will lose coverage prior to Jan. 1, 2011 because he or she reached age 19 and/or the child was not a full-time student; or a child who was never eligible for coverage, that child may now be eligible to enroll in the Seafarers Health and Benefits Plan. If you will be eligible for benefits in 2011, you may request enrollment for any such children by filling out the enclosed Enrollment Form and Affidavit for Dependent Child. Please note, you must certify whether your child has access to other coverage through his or her employment, regardless of whether your child has actually elected to receive that coverage. The form must also be notarized.”


To ensure coverage by Jan. 1, the completed form or forms must be returned no later than Dec. 31 to the Seafarers Health and Benefits Plan, Attn: MAP Department, 5201 Auth Way, Camp Springs, MD 20746.


As noted in the letter, coverage for all eligible children who enroll by Dec. 31 will start Jan. 1. Those enrolling after Jan. 1 will be covered on the first day of the ensuing month that follows the month in which the enrollment form is received. For example, if a completed form is received by the SHBP in mid-February, coverage for that individual would begin March 1.


Questions may be directed to the claims office at (800) 252-4674.

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Frequently Asked Questions About New Health Care Coverage for Children

Provided by the Seafarers Health and Benefits Plan


Q: If my child is married, but is still under age 26, is he or she still eligible to enroll in the Plan?
A: Yes, your married child is eligible to enroll in the Plan, as long as he or she is not offered health coverage through an employer.


Q: My child just lost coverage in October, because he turned 19. How can he receive coverage for the rest of this year?
A: The new coverage for children from 19 through 25 does not go into effect until next year (2011). Your child may elect to receive COBRA coverage for the remainder of this year.


Q: Can my child enroll in the Plan even if he or she does not live with me?
A: Yes. Your child does not have to live with you to be eligible for coverage. If you would like the child to receive the Plan ID card as well as Plan correspondence at the child’s current address, please list that address on the enrollment form in the “Dependent Information” section.


Q: Do I have to prove that I support my child in order to enroll him in the Plan?
A: No, there is no requirement that you provide financial support to your child.


Q: My child just turned 26. Can I enroll him until he turns 27?
A: No, the new coverage is only available for children who are under 26.


Q: If my child who is under 26 has children of her own, can I enroll those children (my grandchildren) in the Plan?
A: No, coverage is not available for grandchildren.


Q: If I do not meet the Plan’s eligibility requirements, can I still enroll my child?
A: No, you must be eligible for benefits to enroll your child in the Plan.


Q: Does the enrollment form have to be notarized?
A: Yes, the enrollment form must be notarized, or the Plan will return it to you, and it may delay your child’s enrollment.