1) Initial Notifications – One of the requirements of participation in our plan is to do an initial notification to all employees actively enrolled in the plan. This is an important part of the Federal COBRA Law, and we find it very helpful in educating the employees about what to do in case of a COBRA event. This is done simply by emailing us a spreadsheet with every active employee’s name, social security #, home address, dependent and coverage information. A blank template is available HERE. We will then mail an initial notification letter to each employee at their home. (This is available in Spanish also.)
2) New Hires – You have 60 days from the date an employee becomes covered on the Benefits Plan to provide us a Newly Covered Employee form for any newly covered employee, or an existing employee who is newly enrolled in the plan. If you prefer, there is a form that they can complete online HERE with all of the information required. We then mail an initial notification letter to each new employee at their home in either English or Spanish.
3) Qualifying Events – If an employee were to have any of the following occur, we must be notified within 30 days of the event so that we can send them a letter offering COBRA:
– Involuntary Termination of Employment
– Voluntary Resignation
– Reduction in Work Hours (To no longer qualify for coverage)
– Divorce / Legal Separation (The Spouse can continue coverage)
– Death of Employee (The Widow can continue coverage)
– Medicare Entitlement (If they are become eligible for Medicare)
– Loss of Dependent Status (Children that are too old to be on Parent’s Plan)
You can simply fax or email us a Qualifying Event FORM or complete the form online HERE. (Using the Carrier Termination Change Form is really not sufficient, as we also need the current home address for this employee (or spouse), and the plan and monthly premium that they have been enrolled in.) We will send a letter to their residence (in either English or Spanish) offering them COBRA Enrollment.
4) COBRA Election – The ex-employee has 60 days from the LATER of the date their coverage ends, or the date we sent out the QE Notice to decide if they want to elect COBRA. If an ex-employee or spouse wishes to continue with COBRA Coverage, they should contact us directly by returning the Election Form. We send a copy of the Election Form to the Employer for their records. We will then send the Participant
an invoice for their premium due, along with the appropriate Insurance Company Enrollment Forms.
They are not active on COBRA until they have both returned the completed signed enrollment forms, AND paid for all the premiums due. They have 45 days from the date they elected COBRA in order to pay all the premiums due and return the applications.
5) COBRA Administration – Once we have received the completed and signed enrollment forms AND all of the premiums due, we will notify the Insurance Company to re-enroll the ex-employee on the Plan as a COBRA Participant. We will collect the applicable premiums from the Participant (plus a 2% Administration Charge), and forward the premiums to the Employer on the 10th of every month. We pay on the 10th of the month following the month that the premiums were due.
6) COBRA Cancellation – The law says that the Participant has 30 days from the Due Date to POSTMARK their payment. Therefore, they have generally until the 31st of the month to pay. Most people pay promptly, but a few will wait until the very last day to pay. If payment has not been received by the FIRST of the following month, we will notify the Insurance Company to cancel Participant for nonpayment. We will also send a notice of cancellation to the Participant with a copy to the Employer.
Communication is the key to making this work, please contact us at 800.800.5880 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments.