While the loss of a loved one is an extremely difficult, stressful time, it is important that you (or a family member) notify the Board when a member of the Benefits Plan dies. Call 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN) and provide the representative with the member's name and date of death.
The death of a family member (spouse or dependent child) is a qualifying life event, which allows you to elect or change benefits for which you and your family members are eligible, or add/remove your eligible family members from coverage — provided the event is reported within 60 days. See Reporting life events for more information.
The Board offers support to help members cope with grief and loss. Through the Employee Assistance Plan (through Cigna), active members and anyone in the member's household have access to resources for emotional well-being at times of loss consultants, licensed counselors, and online webcasts/on-demand replays
If you are an eligible spouse, eligible child, or designated beneficiary, you will receive a letter from the Board asking that you complete, sign, and submit a Death Benefits Claim form and a death certificate to the Board to ensure timely payment of benefits. If an eligible spouse or child was enrolled for supplemental death benefits coverage, a death certificate must be submitted for payment of that benefit.
If an active member enrolled for pension, death and disability, and medical coverage under Pastor's Participation or menu options dies, the surviving eligible family members will receive 12 months of medical coverage at no charge to them or their employer. To continue coverage after this 12-month period, eligible family members must enroll in medical continuation coverage on a self-pay basis; they may enroll in this coverage for up to 36 additional months.
The chart below offers more detailed information regarding medical coverage for surviving spouses and eligible dependents when a Benefits Plan member dies.
When a Benefits Plan member dies:
medical coverage for eligible family members
|If you are:||And you were:||What happens now?||Cost?|
|the surviving spouse or eligible dependent of a member who was active/enrolled in transitional participation coverage at the time of death, and covered under the medical, pension, and death and disability plans||covered under the medical plan||your medical coverage will continue for one year from the date of death as long as you are eligible; after one year, you may enroll for medical continuation coverage (a) for an additional 24 months, or until you are eligible for coverage (whichever is sooner), or (b) until age 26, if you are a dependent child||Neither you nor the employer will be billed for the first year of coverage; published rates in effect at the time will apply to medical continuation coverage, if elected.|
|the surviving spouse or eligible dependent of a member who was active/enrolled in transitional participation coverage at the time of death, and was not covered under the pension and death and disability plans||covered under the medical plan||you may enroll for medical continuation coverage for 36 months from the date of death or until you are eligible for Medicare (whichever is sooner) or, if a dependent child, until age 26 (at which time you may subscribe to medical continuation coverage for an additional 36 months.||Published rates in effect at the time will apply to medical continuation coverage, if elected.|
|the surviving spouse or eligible dependent of a member who was disabled||covered under the medical plan at the time of his/her death||your eligibility for medical coverage will continue for 36 months from the date of death [NOTE: eligible family of a member whose disability benefits began before 1/1/2017 are eligible for provisions in effect as of 12/31/2016. Call 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN) for assistance]||Published rates in effect at the time will apply to medical continuation coverage, if elected.|
|the surviving spouse of a member who was retired and had met the Rule of 70||enrolled in either medical continuation coverage, or the Medicare Supplement Plan at the time of his/her death||you are eligible to continue your coverage for your lifetime through medical continuation, and then the Medicare Supplement Plan when you turn 65. If you are not yet eligible for Medicare, you can enroll for medical continuation coverage for 36 months.||Published rates in effect at the time will apply to medical continuation coverage, if elected.|
|the surviving dependent child (under age 25) of an active member who was enrolled in the Death & Disability Plan at the time of death; OR a retiree who initiated pension payments immediately upon termination of employment||||you may be eligible for a post-high school education grant (you will receive information regarding this benefit when the Board is notified of the member's death)|||