The Meaning Of COBRA Compliance
The purpose of COBRA is to protect certain former employees and their dependents when they lose coverage under a group health plan. Like many laws intended to protect one group of individuals, it creates a potentially devastating minefield for the unprepared or naïve employer. Cobra compliance entails a myriad of nuances that can leave even the most informed COBRA administrator confused. Identifying who is eligible, what, how, and when notices are to be given is only the beginning of COBRA compliance.
COBRA compliance is not something to be taken lightly. Are you prepared for complete and accurate COBRA compliance?
Can You Answer “Yes” To All These Questions?
- Do you know the penalties and liabilities associated with COBRA violations?
- Did you know that COBRA violations are not covered by General Liability Insurance
- Do you know how long you are required to store COBRA records before they can be safely destroyed?
- Do you adjudicate eligibility and participation consistently?
- Are you complying with HIPAA privacy and portability rules?
- Are you complying with COBRA timelines?
- Do you know what a Qualifying Event is under COBRA?
- Are you familiar with the ARRA of 2009 and the changes it made to COBRA?
- Do you provide the COBRA General Rights Notification when an employee elects coverage with a group health plan?
- Are employees and their dependents given an opportunity to continue their coverage when a qualifying event occurs?
- Can you prove that you provided the COBRA General Rights Notification and the COBRA Specific Right with Election Notification?
Is My Organization Required to Offer COBRA to Employees?
To be subject to COBRA, your organization must have had 20 or more employees on at least half of your regular business days in the last calendar year. You also must currently provide a group health plan. A group health plan can be comprised of many different types of insurance. Below you will see a list of some group health plans:
- Medical Insurance
- Dental Insurance
- Vision Insurance
- Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
- Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that provides more than referrals
- Prescription Drug Plan