Part-time and seasonal workers have been an integral part of business for decades. Large retail chains, supermarket chains, restaurant and food chains, and hospitality services all employ large numbers of part-time employees.
The COBRA Blog
With the November elections behind us, the way has been paved for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to be fully implemented. For states and federal agencies, that means they have only 11 more months to prepare for millions of uninsured people to start signing up for coverage under the new healthcare exchanges, with open enrollment scheduled to begin October 1, 2013. Coverage under the new exchanges will be effective January 1, 2014, and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that 22 million people will buy coverage through the public exchange system by 2016.
With open enrollment underway, many employers are once again feeling the strain of rising health care premiums. Some are exploring cost-shifting opportunities, others are looking at employee-directed options and wellness education and the rest are just tightening their belts.
Every year during open enrollment a few unsuspecting companies make a big HR mistake: They unwittingly allow their COBRA administration program to change along with their benefits plans. Sometimes it’s because the carrier recommends a different COBRA administrator. Sometimes it’s because a broker is offering free COBRA software. And sometimes, the broker and the HR team aren’t even conscious that the change is occurring because the COBRA administration was a free service provided by the old health insurance carrier.
As the insurance industry continues to prepare for the upcoming Supreme Court ruling on healthcare reform, due out any time, there’s at least one thing everyone agrees on: the rules have changed forever.
Every year, a large percentage of employers make a serious mistake when they change health plans. It’s not an intentional mistake – in fact, employers often don’t even realize what they’re doing until it’s too late. What is this costly mistake that leaves many an HR professional weeping with regret after the New Year? It is automatically changing COBRA administrators just because there’s a change in the health plan provider.
It’s the first of the year and your new benefit plans are going into effect. Are your new COBRA administration services starting as well?