The COBRA Blog

How COBRA Works If the Beneficiary Is Incapacitated

Posted by Robert Meyers on Thu, Sep 19, 2019 @ 17:09 PM

Under COBRA, eligible qualified beneficiaries must be offered continued health care coverage after a qualifying event. The qualified beneficiary can then select either to refuse continued coverage or to enroll in continued coverage. Sometimes, however, such a decision is not possible because the qualified beneficiary is incapacitated. When that happens, the employer must ensure that requirements for COBRA notices and election periods are still met.

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Tags: COBRA beneficiary is incapacitated

COBRA and Medicare - What are the Rules?

Posted by Robert Meyers on Tue, Jul 16, 2019 @ 14:07 PM

COBRA administration can be confusing in the best of times. When you add complicating factors, it can seem downright baffling. Take COBRA and Medicare. Dealing with one can be a challenge – but what if your employees are dealing with both? Here’s how COBRA and Medicare interact.

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Tags: COBRA and Medicare, Medicare

New Case Underscores Importance of Proper COBRA Notice

Posted by Robert Meyers on Tue, Mar 12, 2019 @ 10:03 AM

COBRA administration is complicated and confusing, but it is also consistent. As readers know, we look at COBRA mainly through the eyes of the COBRA or health Plan administrator, striving to address COBRA conundrums before they become a problem for the Department of Labor, the State Department of Insurance, the IRS, and especially the Federal Court.

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Tags: cobra administration, COBRA notice

How to Choose a COBRA Administrator: The Top 10 Requirements

Posted by Robert Meyers on Tue, Feb 12, 2019 @ 18:02 PM

Do you trust your COBRA administrator? This is an important question because as health insurance rates have skyrocketed, so too has the liability associated with COBRA administration. The ACA removed limits from policies, and in doing so, lifted the lid on potential COBRA errors as well. Remember, COBRA is compliance at its heart and the regulatory penalties which may be levied by the Department of Labor are significant. The insurance claims which COBRA participants might incur can be even more dangerous to the health plan than the penalties.

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Tags: cobra administrator, Choose a COBRA Administrator

Five Years Later, COBRA Continuation Stands Strong

Posted by Robert Meyers on Thu, Dec 13, 2018 @ 14:12 PM

Since the onset of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014, employees who have lost health coverage due to a qualifying event have had the option of continuing their coverage by electing COBRA or by choosing their own health insurance plan through the Marketplace. Back then, some predicted that the ACA would make COBRA obsolete. Now, almost five years later, COBRA stands strong.

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Tags: cobra administration, COBRA continuation

Managing COBRA Administration in the Fourth Quarter

Posted by Robert Meyers on Tue, Nov 13, 2018 @ 16:11 PM

Well, another football season is upon us. The weather is getting cooler, the leaves are turning, and the sun shines brightly on the football fields across America. The season includes parties, tailgating, fantasy football, and games at every level – from pee-wee league to pro.

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Tags: cobra administration, cobra administration tips

COBRA Administration During Leaves of Absence: How to Navigate the Maze

Posted by Robert Meyers on Wed, Oct 17, 2018 @ 15:10 PM

We’ve covered many COBRA administration twists and turns through the years. As COBRA has evolved, the challenges continue to increase. Leaves of Absence (LOA) during employment has made COBRA even more complex. LOA used to be about sick time and vacation. Now it can include leaves for maternity, paternity, personal, family, childcare, medical, military, sabbatical, adoption, ADA and other reasons.

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Tags: cobra administration, leaves of absence

Association Health Plan: COBRA Implications of the Final Rule

Posted by Robert Meyers on Wed, Sep 12, 2018 @ 15:09 PM

Earlier this year, we posted an article on “The COBRA Implications of AHP Expansion” in which we discussed how COBRA may be impacted by the DOL’s proposed guidance on expanding Association Health Plans. On June 21, 2018, the Employee Benefits Security Administration division of the DOL published the Final Rule (29 CFR 2510) giving us the definition of “Employer” under Section 3(5) or ERISA related to Association Health Plans.

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Tags: Association Health Plan

Corporate Downsizing COBRA Mistakes

Posted by Robert Meyers on Thu, Jul 12, 2018 @ 16:07 PM

The news has been abuzz recently with several large corporate mergers and acquisitions. No doubt large corporations have teams of lawyers on staff to ensure compliance during and after corporate changes. However, even businesses that are not large enough to staff a team of lawyers undergo mergers, acquisitions and restructuring.  While these businesses may not make the evening news, they are held to the same COBRA compliance standards as large employers. 

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Tags: cobra mistakes, corporate downsizing

COBRA Administration Can-Dos: Five Options for Plan Sponsors

Posted by Robert Meyers on Mon, Jun 11, 2018 @ 11:06 AM

In the world of employee benefit plan administration and compliance, we often focus on what not to do. However, even in this highly regulated industry, plan sponsors have options when it comes to COBRA.   

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Tags: COBRA options for plan sponsors

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