October is National Depression Awareness Month. Sixteen million people in the U.S. live with major depression.
Depression is more than sadness. We all feel sad from time to time. It’s a normal temporary reaction to upsetting experiences in life. Depression is different. When a person has depression, it interferes with daily life—eating, sleeping, working and more. It affects not just the person with depression, but also those who care about them. Most people who experience depression need treatment to get better.
Depression is not a sign of weakness or a character flaw. If you are suffering with depression, help is available. Call the National Alliance on Mental Illness at: 1800-950-NAMI (6264) Monday - Friday from 10 am - 6 pm.
If you are not working, but you are still eligible for Plan coverage under the collective bargaining agreement, you may continue your coverage under the Plan by making monthly payments to the Plan during your period(s) of leave. You must notify the Health and Welfare office when you return to work.
If you are out on Workers’ Compensation, you must also make your monthly payments directly to the Health & Welfare Plan because they are not deducted from your paycheck or from your Workers’ Compensation benefits.
Payments are due on the first of the month. It is your responsibility to make your Health & Welfare payments on time. The Plan does not send notices of delinquent payments, nor will it send you a bill. If you do not make your payments on time, your coverage under the Plan will end. Consider permitting the Plan to deduct payments from your bank account. Contact the Plan for more information.
Coverage will retroactively end as of the monthly premium payment due date if the required monthly premium payment is not paid within 30 days from the due date (e.g., if the monthly premium payment for September, which is due on September 1, is not paid by September 30th, coverage would be terminated as of September 1). If coverage is terminated due to non-payment of the required monthly premium payment, you may again become covered (on a prospective basis) by sending in the required monthly premium payment for future coverage. Your coverage will re-start as of the first day of the month following receipt of the required monthly premium payment. You will not be permitted to retroactively reinstate coverage for any period of coverage that terminated due to non-payment of the required monthly premium payment.
If you are on a leave of absence for military duty, you are permitted to continue medical, dental, prescription drug, and vision benefit coverage under this Plan for you and your covered dependents in accordance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). Please see the “If You Enter Military Service” section on the Life Events page for more information.
If your coverage ends due to termination of your employment with METRO, you may be eligible for COBRA for you and your family. Although METRO will notify the Health & Welfare Plan of your termination, you are also encouraged to inform the Health & Welfare Plan to avoid any delay.
If you lose Plan coverage due to the termination of your employment or any other reason, you may want to look into purchasing health coverage through a Health Insurance Marketplace.