The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gives workers and their families who lose their health benefits the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by their group health plan for limited periods of time under certain circumstances such as voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in the hours worked, transition between jobs, death, divorce, and other life events. Qualified individuals may be required to pay the entire premium for coverage up to 102 percent of the cost to the plan.
COBRA generally requires that group health plans sponsored by employers with 20 or more employees in the prior year offer employees and their families the opportunity for a temporary extension of health coverage (called continuation coverage) in certain instances where coverage under the plan would otherwise end.
COBRA outlines how employees and family members may elect continuation coverage. It also requires employers and plans to provide notice.
Mini-COBRA is a rarely talked-about provision that many states have enacted in addition to the federally subsidized COBRA coverage. Traditional COBRA doesn’t allow for employees who were recently laid off from small businesses with fewer than 20 employees. For this reason, all 50 states have some kind of state version of COBRA coverage, known as “mini-COBRA” (named so because it caters to employees who were laid off or left businesses with 2 to 19 employees).
It’s essential that you check your state’s individual mini-COBRA requirements and restrictions. Below you’ll find a table that tells you the length of mini-COBRA coverage, the size of the firm covered and any additional potential extensions (currently available in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, and South Dakota). You will need to check with you state insurance commission to see if there are any additional requirements or restrictions
COBRA Administration includes:
- Distribution of initial general COBRA notifications for new additions.
- Distribution of a notice offering COBRA coverage within the required grace period.
- Distribution monthly premium notices to the primary qualified beneficiary (PQB) and/or family, if COBRA is elected.
- Maintenance and tracking of payments, non-payments and terminations of COBRA.
- Quarterly reports to our clients.
- Administration of all telephone, fax, email and person to person inquiries directly from the employer, employee, spouses and dependents regarding any questions, comments or concerns they may have in regards to COBRA.
For more information regarding the services available to you or to answer your questions, contact our COBRA Customer Service representatives at (814) 454-0167 or (800) 777-2425