June 27, 1979

(Opinion issued in letter form; name and address deleted)

RE: Opinion of Trustees
Resolution of Disputes
Case No. 24

Pursuant to Article IX of the UMWA 1950 Benefit Plan and Trust, and under the authority of an exemption granted by the U.S. Department of Labor, the Trustees have received the question of continuation of coverage for a laid off employee under an Employer’s benefit plan established pursuant to Article XX of the National Bituminous Coal Wage Agreement of 1978. Their opinion is issued in Question and Answer form as follows:

Subject: HEALTH BENEFITS; Continuation of Coverage, Employment outside Coal Industry

Reference: Employer Benefit Plan, Article III E(1)(f)

Question: Assume an active employee of a signatory Employer is laid off; at the time of lay off, he had worked over 2000 hours within the previous 24-month period and was eligible for continuation of health benefit coverage provided by the Employer for up to 12 months.

If the laid off employee begins working outside the coal industry within the 12 month period, what will his status be with respect to health benefit coverage?

Answer: The laid off employee’s health benefit coverage terminates on the first day that he begins employment outside the coal industry.