Unpaid Leave of Absence/Layoff

During an approved unpaid leave of absence (LOA) or layoff, you may prepay your Healthcare and/or Dental premiums to maintain your coverage at the level in effect at the time of the leave. Coverage must be prepaid prior to the start of your approved unpaid leave. You may maintain your coverage for up to 12 months.

If you are prepaying your premiums to maintain your coverage, your employer must complete a Prepayment Form. You must sign and submit the Prepayment Form along with your payment to your employer prior to the start of your approved unpaid LOA/layoff.

If you are waiving your coverage during your approved unpaid LOA/layoff, you and your employer must complete a Waiver Form prior to the start of your approved unpaid LOA/layoff.

If you do not submit the required forms and payment to your employer prior to the start of your unpaid LOA/layoff, you will be deemed to have waived your coverage for your entire unpaid LOA/layoff. In addition, if the required forms and payment are received after your unpaid LOA/layoff starts you will not be eligible to maintain coverage. When you return to active employment, your coverage will be reinstated.

Changes to Your Eligible Family Members While on an Unpaid LOA/Layoff

If you experience a change in your eligible family members while on an unpaid LOA or layoff (resulting from marriage, separation, start or end of a common-law relationship, birth, adoption, or death), you must sign and submit a Change Form within 60 days of the date you acquired or lost eligible family members, otherwise restrictions to coverage may apply. Please refer to the Changes to Coverage section for more details regarding submission time requirements and applicable restrictions.

In all cases, whether you have elected to:

  • pre-pay to maintain your coverage during your unpaid LOA/layoff, or
  • waive coverage during your unpaid LOA/layoff,

you must submit a Change Form to declare the change in your eligible family members within 60 days of the event itself, or restrictions to coverage may apply.

Note: The event is the date of marriage, separation, start or end of a common-law relationship, birth, adoption, or death.

Acquire/Loss of Alternate Coverage While on an Unpaid LOA/Layoff

If you experience a change in your current coverage while on an unpaid LOA or layoff (due to an acquisition or a loss of alternate healthcare and/or dental coverage), you must submit a Change Form within 60 days of the date you acquired or lost alternate coverage, otherwise restrictions to coverage will apply. Please refer to the Changes to Coverage section for more details regarding submission time requirements and applicable restrictions.

In all cases, whether you have elected to: 

  • pre-pay to maintain your coverage during your unpaid LOA/layoff, or
  • waive coverage during your unpaid LOA/layoff,

you must submit a Change Form to declare the change in alternate coverage within 60 days of the event itself, or restrictions in coverage will apply.

Note: The event is the date you acquired or lost alternate coverage.

Healthcare Spending Account During an Unpaid LOA/Layoff 

You and your family members may not be eligible for the Healthcare Spending Account during an unpaid LOA or layoff. Your employer will provide you with complete details should you take an approved unpaid LOA or be laid off.

If your HSA benefit amount becomes effective during an unpaid LOA/layoff, you must have prepaid your HEB Manitoba Healthcare Plan premiums in order to claim any eligible HSA expenses incurred during the unpaid LOA/layoff.

If you choose not to prepay your HEB Manitoba Healthcare Plan premiums prior to your unpaid LOA/layoff, you will not be eligible to claim any expenses incurred during your unpaid LOA/layoff.

Although you may be eligible for HEB Manitoba Healthcare Plan coverage once you return to work, depending on the length of your leave, you may not be eligible for an HSA benefit. HSA eligibility depends on the number of regular paid hours worked (excluding overtime) during the months you participated in the HEB Manitoba Healthcare Plan in the previous calendar year. If you are on an unpaid LOA/layoff at the time you qualify for the current year’s HSA benefit, you will not be eligible for the HSA for the balance of the current calendar year unless you prepay your HEB Manitoba Healthcare Plan premiums to maintain coverage during your leave.

Example 1:

You have been on an unpaid LOA since 2008 and have prepaid your HEB Manitoba Healthcare Plan premiums to maintain your coverage. No HSA will be provided effective January 1, 2011, as there are no regular paid hours worked in the previous calendar year (2010).

Example 2:

You went on an unpaid LOA on October 1, 2010, and have prepaid your HEB Manitoba Healthcare Plan premiums to maintain your coverage. Because you maintained your coverage, you are able to use the HSA benefit amount credited to you in April 2010. Effective January 2011, you will also be eligible for an HSA benefit amount, because you maintained your HEB Manitoba Healthcare Plan coverage and have regular paid hours in the previous calendar year. If you return to work October 1, 2011, you would also be eligible for an HSA benefit amount in January 2012.

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Disclaimer - This website provides a basic overview of the Healthcare Employees' Pension Plan (HEPP) and the Healthcare Employees' Benefits Plan (HEBP) (collectively the HEB Manitoba Pension and Benefit Plans). Not all employers participate in all Plans. Please check your eligibility for benefits with your employer.

HEB Manitoba is a name notation registered by the Healthcare Employees’ Pension Plan – Manitoba and the Healthcare Employees’ Benefits Plan – Manitoba and under which each of their respective undertakings is carried out.

The information on this website is for convenience of reference only and has no official sanction. View our full disclaimer here.