Recognizing and Addressing COBRA
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With health care insurance evolving, so has COBRA and the way employers are required to manage it - get up to speed to make sure you're in compliance.
COBRA compliance presents many risks, some of which can be catastrophic. It is critical that employers provide required notices and accurate information about employees' rights and obligations under COBRA from beginning to end of the employment relationship, and ensure proper administration of its COBRA compliance program. Failure to do so can result in an employer being responsible for major medical expenses out of its own pocket. This topic will cover the legislative rationale that underlies COBRA continuation coverage as well as the nuts and bolts of compliance. Following this material, you will be able to develop internal systems to ensure compliance, recognize potential issues early on before they become problems, and determine whether outsourcing COBRA compliance to a third party makes sense.
AuthorsDouglas Dormire Powers, Beckman Lawson, LLP
In the Beginning-a Refresher
• The Problem-High Employee Turnover Puts Health Coverage in Jeopardy
• The Solution-Permit Employees to Continue Coverage After Termination
• The Statute-Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA)
Nuts and Bolts
• Which Employers Are Subject to COBRA?
• What Coverage Must Be Offered?
• Who Is Covered?
• How Long Is Coverage?
• What Is the Premium?
How Does COBRA Work?
• Initial Notice
• Qualifying Event
• Election Notice
• Termination of Coverage
• Qualified Medical Child Support Orders
Pressure Points to Consider
• Failure to Provide Initial Notice
• Failure to Provide Timely (or Any) Election Notice
• Establishing the Date of the Qualifying Event
• Severance Agreements
• Third Party Administration