Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act – COBRA

We Worry About COBRA… So You Don’t Have To.

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) requires employers to offer the option of continuing healthcare
benefits to qualified
beneficiaries – at their own expense – who would otherwise lose their benefits. Streamline HR partners
with an industry leading healthcare platform that offers an easy to use, self-service web portal for both employers and employees.

Spending valuable time juggling enrollment and
communications to ensure you are COBRA compliant?

Managing COBRA benefits can be daunting. Complicated compliance requirements and manual invoicing and payment processes can be taxing administratively. We offer a COBRA solution that eases the administrative burden, saves you money, and offers you peace of mind.

Our secure COBRA system simplifies access to benefits for employers and qualified beneficiaries through a system of convenient and integrated online web portals.

  • Working with one vendor saves time: one invoice, one point of contact

  • Enrollment ease: qualifying event notification, initial rights notification, plan election, and termination of COBRA coverage

  • Ability to customize timelines and communications based on state continuation guidelines

  • Available EDI integration for ease of notification

  • 100% Mini-COBRA Compliant

Our COBRA Online Web Platform is a complete supported/updated program that constantly keeps up with COBRA law, regulations, and court cases that result in changes to administrative requirements. Our administrative system keeps your data secure and accessible 24 hours a day. Online features include:

  • All Required COBRA Notifications
  • Accurate Timeline Tracking
  • Collection & Remittance of COBRA Premiums
  • Accurate Summary and Detail Reporting
  • Superior Client and Participant Support
  • Maintenance of Federal Record-Keeping Requirements

Frequently Asked Questions

COBRA stands for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985. Under COBRA, workers and their families must be offered continued health coverage when their regular health plans are discontinued due to such events as voluntary or involuntary termination or reduction of work hours, change in Medicare eligibility, employee death or divorce (otherwise known as qualifying events). It is the responsibility of the employer to notify employees of their rights under COBRA or face financial and/or legal fines.

An employee covered by a group health plan on the day before a qualifying event who is either an employee, the employee’s spouse, or an employee’s dependent child. In some cases a retiree, their spouse and dependent children can also be qualified beneficiary’s. In addition, any child born to or placed for adoption with a covered employee during the period of COBRA coverage is considered a qualified beneficiary.

A certain event that would cause an individual to lose health coverage. The following lists specific qualifying events:

  • termination of employment for reasons other than gross misconduct
  • death of the covered employee
  • divorce or legal separation
  • covered employee becomes eligible for Medicare
  • loss of dependent child status under the plan rules

The Qualifying Event will determine who the Qualified Beneficiaries are and the amount of time that a plan must offer the health coverage to them under COBRA. Generally speaking, qualified beneficiaries are covered for the following period of time:

  • Termination of Employment: 18 months
  • Reduction in work hours: 18 months
  • Employee Death: 36 months
  • Divorce or Legal Separation: 36 months
  • Dependent Child Ceasing to be a dependant: 36 months

COBRA is applicable to any company that employs 20 or more individuals on more than 50% of its typical business days in the preceding year and offers group health plans. These health plans include: medical, dental vision, prescription drug, and medical reimbursement flexible spending plans.

Companies can be audited by the Internal Revenue Service where the burden of compliance is placed upon the employer. COBRA regulations are enforced through a joint effort by the IRS, US Department of Labor and Department of Health and Human Services. Violations resulting from non-compliance include non-deductible excise tax penalties of $100 per individual affected per day. Statutory fines of up to $110 per day can also be imposed under ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act). Civil lawsuits and attorney’s fees on top of all of this can really add up to substantial penalties for a company.

Our COBRA specialists are available to help.