As we come up to the end of the year, many groups are going to renew. Here are some matters of fact that would help you understand some federal laws and guidelines and some state laws and guidelines.
I would like to start with, “What is COBRA”. To put this in a nutshell, COBRA, “Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act”, is a federal law that allows members of an employer-sponsored health plan immediate coverage under certain circumstances. As an employer, you need to adhere to the federal COBRA laws. As an insurance agent, I am not allowed to be involved with your COBRA benefits. This law falls under the Department of Labor and the accountability is between the employer and the federal government. As your insurance agent, I try to educate you on this, make suggestions so your liability as an employer is well-protected and the administration of these COBRA plans are done per the timelines and guidelines set forth by the federal government. Some of this you may not have an interest in knowing, however, I’m doing an injustice to you by not letting you know that it exists and if you’re not compliant with it, the liability is yours as the employer.
This link is to the Department of Labor’s website for your convenience. If you want to bookmark this and refer to it from time to time, you will have it. With the employer group plans that we sell and service, you have the option, for a very nominal fee, to have the insurance company handle all of your COBRA enrollments, mailings and dis-enrollments on a partnership basis, so you do some of the work as the employer, the company does some of the work as the insurance company. I highly recommend that this be part of your employer-sponsored health plan.