- What is COBRA continuation health coverage?
- What does COBRA do?
Congress passed the landmark Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) health benefit provisions in 1986. The law amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the internal Revenue Code and the Public Health Service Act to provide continuation of group health coverage and other benefits that otherwise might have been lost.
COBRA provides certain former employees, retirees, spouses, former spouses, and dependent children the right to temporary continuation of health coverage and certain other benefits at group rates. This coverage, however, is only available when coverage is lost due to certain specific events.
Outline of Services
- Initial Consultation
- Current COBRA Participants
- New Hire Letter update
Initial Setup / Installation / Take-Over
Whether your employer has COBRA participants or not, HR Concepts will take the time necessary to develop the best procedure to handle the transition of current COBRA participants and notification of new COBRA eligible employees. We will integrate with your existing process and implement our procedures, which you customize, to keep your companies in compliance.
After all the procedures are outlined, HR Concepts will send all current COBRA participants a letter detailing who we are and where they are to send their payments. Along with this letter will be a new coupon booklet or invoice for remittance of premiums.
Regulation requires that newly hired employees need to receive notification that they are cobra/HIPAA eligible in the event that they are terminated or have a qualifying event. If your companies currently use a letter for new hires, we will review it to make sure it is in compliance. If a company prefers, HR Concepts will design and provide a new hire letter for COBRA/HIPAA eligibility notification.
COBRA Technology Platform
- Technology Summary
The HR Concepts COBRA administration technology platform is used by administrators supporting tens of thousands employers and hundreds of thousands of COBRA participants. This system has a robust web-based interface that allows a host of useful features including:
- COBRA participant online account access available 24/7
- COBRA participant online credit card / debit card payment of COBRA premiums
- COBRA participant ability to elect to pay premiums by scheduled ACH
- Employer direct entry of qualifying events and new hires eliminating the need to complete paper forms to notify us of qualifying events and new hires
- Robust accounting feature to track employer and ARRA subsidies
- Posted and adjusted Remittance Reports to ensure and fully communicate to you accurate management of premiums
- Employer online account access and reporting available 24/7
- Real-time access to extensive library of reports available 24/7
- Our COBRA Administration system will also provide a
robust platform for HR Concepts to effectively administer COBRA in the
changing legislative landscape demonstrated by the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) as continually amended.
- New Hire Letter
- Terminated Employee COBRA Notification Letter
- Acknowledgment Letter / Coupon Remittance Labels
- Termination Letter
HR Concepts will provide a new hire letter for each employer. You have a choice of either HR Concepts mailing this letter for all new hires or you can provide it to them with the rest of their new hire literature/benefit information.
Upon notification of termed employee, HR Concepts will send out a COBRA notification letter along with a HIPAA letter indicating the employee’s options.
If an employee elects COBRA, then HR Concepts will send an acknowledgment letter indicating the acceptance along with coupon remittance labels for the employee to use for submitting their premiums each month.
If an employee fails to make their premium payments, then HR Concepts will send the COBRA participant a letter indicating the termination of their benefit plan. This letter will also be sent at the end of the COBRA eligibility period.
On-Going Administration Services
- Daily Administration
- Monthly Administration
- Annual Administration
- Vendor Reporting / Communication
Whenever an employer has a qualifying COBRA event, they will enter the qualifying event on the web based client portal. After receiving this notification, HR Concepts will send out the COBRA HIPAA eligibility letter to the employee. If an employer or COBRA participant has any questions, they can call anytime during normal business hour and speak with the administrator assigned to their account.
Once a month HR Concepts will remit the premiums paid by COBRA participants to employer via one check along with a report detailing the payment. Whenever necessary, HR Concepts will communicate with the provider to handle billing questions or disputes. If a COBRA participant doesn’t make their premium payment, then by notification of employer or after a 31 days grace period, a termination letter will be sent to the COBRA participant along with a HIPAA letter. The employer will be notified monthly of terminations.
HR Concepts will notify each COBRA participant annually of any renewal and provide an annual report detailing all the COBRA activity.
If a provider / vendor allows for a third party administrator to communicate with them, then HR Concepts will interface with them via telephone, fax or email. If an employer prefers, we will handle the termination / reinstatement with the provider / vendor. Upon the participant no longer being able to have COBRA or by failure to make payment, then HR Concepts will terminate the participant with the provider / vendor.