MBP offering open enrollment for life, disability insurances
By SHERRY HALBROOK
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught a tough lesson that just when you think things are going great, you can be blindsided by a serious threat that you never saw coming. That’s when you really appreciate a personal safety net that you put together before hard times came knocking on your door.
Recognizing that concern, the Membership Benefits Program (MBP) trustees decided to open a window for open enrollment in Short-term disability insurance and Long-term disability insurance, as well as life insurance.
The window of opportunity for open enrollment begins September 1 and ends October 31 of this year. The term “open enrollment” means you may enroll without needing to answer any questions about your health or taking a physical exam to be eligible for coverage.
The MBP Trustees are Stephanie McLean-Beathley, chair; Joseph F. Donahue III; Bernadette O’Connor; Wayne Spence; and Kay Alison Wilkie. The program administrator is Scott T. Harms.
“Did you know that your most valuable asset isn’t your house, car, retirement account, or any other large asset you own? “It’s the ability to make a living,” Harms said. “Most individuals don’t insure their most valuable asset — their ability to earn a paycheck.
“You need to have a plan in place to protect your loved ones if the unexpected happens and you become disabled or a death occurs. No matter what stage of life you’re in, protect what you love about life—your family,” he said. “Now is the time to do it, when you are focused on your family’s security and the future, and when we are making it as easy as possible with open enrollment.”
MBP provides three plans:
• Short-term disability insurance to protect your paycheck and income when you are unable to work due to a medical disability for up to 26 weeks;
• Long-term disability providing a monthly benefit if you are out of work longer than six months; and
•Group Term Life Insurance to ensure your family can maintain the same quality of life when you can’t be there, and they need you most.
Because NYS civil service employees are not eligible for NYS Disability Benefits Law coverage, as a state employee, you must find other sources for your disability coverage. The PEF MBP offers short-term and long-term disability insurances to help you manage your expenses without relying solely on vacation days, sick pay, or your hard-earned savings to stay afloat while out of work. To protect yourself, your loved ones and your paycheck, you must be enrolled in a disability insurance prior to becoming ill, injured, or becoming pregnant. You can’t get the coverage if you are already disabled and needing the benefit.
You can get the coverage you need by enrolling for the first time, or increasing your existing coverage in any one or all three of the payroll-deducted insurance programs before the October 31st deadline — with no medical questions asked, up to the amounts approved for this modified open enrollment.
All active, dues-paying PEF members may take advantage of the insurances made available through the PEF Membership Benefits Program.
Not yet a PEF member? You can Join PEF Now .
For questions regarding your current coverage, or more information on this special modified open enrollment:
• Call (518) 785-1900 or (800) 342-4306, ext. 243, Option 2,
• Enroll today by accessing the online enrollment form.
If you miss taking advantage of this special modified open-enrollment period, you may still be able to enroll under the following circumstances:
• New PS&T Unit hires have 120 days from their new hire date to join PEF and enroll up to the maximum issue amount with no medical questions asked;
•After the 120 days has passed, PEF members may apply for coverage in any of the three payroll deducted insurances at any time, but must complete a medical questionnaire (Evidence of Insurability Form—EOI) with their enrollment form.