/// Retirement, Flex & COBRA News
Jayne L. Gaffney
COBRA provides continuation coverage requirements applicable to group health plans and the individuals who lose coverage under such plans.
Under COBRA rules, both group health plans and the individuals losing coverage under those plans have specific guidelines and strict timetables to follow in offering and electing to receive COBRA coverage.
Administration of the COBRA rules is a four-step process that includes:
• Designing and deciding upon plan administration procedures, processes, forms and notices
• Identifying COBRA events
• Sending, receiving and managing the paperwork, timeframes and terminating events once someone is "on" COBRA
• Keeping updated on COBRA court cases and regulatory changes that may affect COBRA Penalties procedures
Online Access: MyRSC login
Updates to employee benefit laws occur daily and COBRA is no different. Most companies are unable to keep up with changes to state and federal laws. Some companies are not aware that COBRA rules and regulations apply to them.
It is an enormous responsibility to maintain compliance and avoid the risks involved with one of the federal government's most complex laws. Sheakley offers peace of mind by eliminating this time consuming responsibility, and giving clientele more time to focus on their company.
Our professional and courteous representatives are dedicated to ensuring everything is completed in a timely and accurate fashion.
Who Needs COBRA?+
Am I legally required to offer COBRA to my employees?
Employers with 20 or more employees are usually required to offer COBRA coverage and to notify their employees of the availability of such coverage.
Which individuals are eligible for COBRA?
For COBRA purposes, any individual who is covered by a plan that is subject to COBRA is eligible to receive COBRA coverage if the individual loses coverage as a result of a specific COBRA event. There is no limit to how long the individual would have needed to be covered under the plan to be eligible for COBRA; as little as one day is sufficient.
Individuals who lose coverage because of a specific COBRA event are called qualified beneficiaries. A qualified beneficiary could refer to:
• An employee
• A former employee
• A retired employee
• The dependent children of any of the above (including adopted and placed for adoption children)
• The spouse of any of the above
• Children covered by the plan pursuant to qualified medical child support orders
• Individuals who are covered by the plan who are self employed persons, agents, or independent contractors (and their employees, agents and independent contractors)
• Corporate directors
Note: The right to elect this continued coverage may not be conditioned on the qualified beneficiaries' insurability.