Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I need to ask 1743 of you to do something fairly simple and very important over the next few months. Look in your mail at home for an envelope from TriMet. We’ve hired an outside company called Mercer to conduct a “dependent eligibility audit”—which means documenting that everybody who gets health insurance through TriMet is eligible to do so. In the envelope you’ll find a letter from me, a list of dependent eligibility requirements, and a short form that lists who’s on your medical/dental plan. It’s simple – if you have someone on your health insurance plan that shouldn’t be there – take them off.
In a small number of cases, we expect that employees may read the list of requirements and realize someone is listed on their plan who shouldn’t be. During this “amnesty phase”—which lasts through May 18—anyone in that situation can just check the “NOT ELIGIBLE” box to remove the person, return the form to Mercer and there will be no penalty.
(The “ineligible dependent” will lose coverage as of 5/31/12). Then in the summer the audit phase will start, and all of us will be required to submit documents that prove the dependents’ eligibility. Even I will be required to participate and will need to get my hands on a copy of my marriage certificate, even though I know I gave it to TriMet when I started working here 21 years ago. You’ll get another letter this summer from Mercer with instructions. If the audit turns up any “ineligible dependents,” they will of course be removed from TriMet’s plan—and the employee involved will need to repay the premiums (easily thousands of dollars) TriMet paid to cover the person in 2012.
Participation in the audit is mandatory for all employees, unless you have “single coverage.” This is so important that the penalties include termination from your job. Please carefully read the letters and instructions from Mercer and take the appropriate action. If you have questions, please contact Mercer. They are ready to assist you.
While it might be a little bit of hassle, it’s the right thing to do. You know the tight budget we’re working under so we want to make sure that TriMet’s valuable benefits are covering the people who qualify for them.
Sincerely, Neil Mcfardumb

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