The COBRA Blog

Five things to know about COBRA and the Opioid Epidemic

Posted by Robert Meyers on Fri, Dec 15, 2017 @ 13:12 PM

A sad and scary reality is sweeping our country. Drug addiction has skyrocketed. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death among Americans under the age of 50. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in 2015, 12.5 million Americans misused prescription opioids, 828,000 people used heroin and 33,091 people died from overdosing on opioids. In late October of 2017, the Trump administration declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency. 

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Tags: opioid epidemic

Mergers, Acquisitions and COBRA: The Apex of Complexity

Posted by Robert Meyers on Tue, Dec 12, 2017 @ 11:12 AM

According to PwC's Deals mid-year review and outlook report, mergers and acquisitions in 2017 were steady with actual volume up 12% over 2016. With this kind of continuous activity, we thought it would be a good time to revisit the complexities of COBRA during mergers and acquisitions. 

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Tags: cobra administration, cobra conundrums, COBRA during mergers and acquisitions

What Should Your SPD and SBC Say About COBRA?

Posted by Robert Meyers on Fri, Nov 10, 2017 @ 12:11 PM

SPD Requirement 

Group health plans sponsored by private-sector employers are required to maintain and distribute a Summary Plan Description (SPD). The SPD requirement does not apply to governmental and church sponsored plans, although many choose to provide an SPD. 

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Tags: SPD, SBC, Summary Plan Description

Four COBRA Compliance Curveballs

Posted by Robert Meyers on Fri, Oct 13, 2017 @ 18:10 PM

COBRA administration is anything but routine. In this article, we examine a few interesting situations that deserve the label “COBRA Curveballs.” Batter up!

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Tags: COBRA compliance

Marriage, Divorce and COBRA Implications

Posted by Robert Meyers on Tue, Sep 12, 2017 @ 11:09 AM

According to the CDC, marriage rates in the United States are increasing and divorce rates are decreasing. This is good news … unless you are a divorce attorney. It also has COBRA implications.

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Tags: COBRA Implications of Marriage and Divorce

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: ACA changes, cobra communication

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

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