The COBRA Blog

Offering COBRA Benefits to Retirees - Small Policy Differences Can Lead to Extremely Different Outcomes

Posted by Robert Meyers on Wed, Aug 09, 2017 @ 19:08 PM

Wondering how employers can best offer retiree health benefits? To shed some light on this complex topic, we’re looking at the case of Tom and Nancy. In retirement, Tom plans to golf nine holes a day and spend his evenings listening to live bands on the beach. Nancy has a love of travel and spicy food. Her plans include driving an RV across the country. 

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Leonardo da Vinci’s Thoughts on COBRA Administration

Posted by Robert Meyers on Wed, Jun 28, 2017 @ 14:06 PM

“Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.” -Leonardo da Vinci.

Maybe the famous scholar from the 1400s wasn’t talking about the continuation of group health plan coverage. But, today more than ever, this quote is right on point for sponsors and administrators of employee benefit programs.

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Tags: cobra administration, flex administration

How COBRA Communication May Be Impacted by ACA Changes

Posted by Robert Meyers on Wed, Jun 28, 2017 @ 14:06 PM

Proper and timely notification is arguably the most important (and most frequently litigated) aspect of COBRA administration. The employer must provide a general notice at the commencement of active coverage. Let’s be honest, most employees do not continue reading past the title of this notice. However, an individualized election notice becomes due once a qualifying event occurs. The election notice is distributed to individuals at a time when things in their life are changing and they are considering options on the best path forward. Therefore, the election notice is extremely important.

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Tags: cobra communication, ACA changes

COBRA: One of Health Care’s Comfortable Commodities

Posted by Robert Meyers on Wed, Jun 14, 2017 @ 09:06 AM

With summer break upon us, most of us are reminded that being home has its perks. Think back to your spring break vacation … Maybe you were stuck at the airport with your kids when their devices ran out of power. Or, maybe you spent hours in the car taking direction from a computer-generated voice telling you to turn in 0.5 miles. Every year, we crave an escape from our daily routines. Then, halfway through our vacations, we yearn for the comforts of home.

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Tags: cobra administration

COBRA Administration: Different Flavors for Different Employers

Posted by Robert Meyers on Tue, Jun 13, 2017 @ 22:06 PM

Did you know that different COBRA rules apply to different types of employers? Gasp! Read on to discover the variations in COBRA administration requirements. 

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Tags: cobra administration

COBRA CONUNDRUMS: Recent Case Reveals the High Cost of COBRA Non-Compliance

Posted by Robert Meyers on Mon, Jun 20, 2016 @ 17:06 PM

Given the availability of Marketplace coverage, is a missed COBRA notice really that big of a deal?

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Tags: cobra non-compliance

Health Reform: Has the Death Spiral Come to Life?

Posted by Robert Meyers on Thu, Apr 14, 2016 @ 08:04 AM

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away … insurers and industry experts warned of an impending Affordable Care Act (ACA) death spiral.  In my mind, the term “death spiral” conjures up images of the death star while the Star Wars Imperial March song begins playing in my head. 

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Tags: Health reform

COBRA Administration for FSA Carryovers – Answers at Last!

Posted by Robert Meyers on Thu, Feb 25, 2016 @ 10:02 AM

Health Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are subject to COBRA.  However, most FSAs are only required to offer COBRA if the account has a positive balance.  In other words, the beneficiary has contributed more that he or she has received in reimbursements.  If the account is overspent, COBRA does not have to be offered. 

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Tags: fsa under cobra

Affordable Care Act Reporting Deadline Extended!

Posted by Robert Meyers on Thu, Jan 07, 2016 @ 12:01 PM

In a somewhat expected move, the IRS announced a last-minute extension of the looming deadlines for Forms 1094 and 1095.  The extension is good news for employers and insurers still trying to figure out exactly how to report all of the necessary information for 2015.  

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Tags: aca reporting

HSA Eligibility and the Marketplace – Yet another Reason why COBRA may be the Better Choice

Posted by Robert Meyers on Fri, Dec 11, 2015 @ 08:12 AM

Employees losing employer group health coverage may be surprised to learn that selecting a Marketplace or individual plan with an extremely high deductible will render them ineligible to contribute to their Health Savings Account (HSA).

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Tags: HSAs and COBRA administration, hsa

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