What is COBRA Continuation Coverage?

COBRA or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 is a temporary continuation of an employee's benefit plan coverage (usually the employee's health insurance coverage) when coverage would otherwise end due to a "qualifying event."  Some examples of a "qualifying event" are:

  • Termination of Employment;
  • Death of Employee;
  • Reduction in Employee's Work Hours;
  • Divorce of Employee;
  • Employee's Dependent No Longer Eligible (over age 26 or full-time student over age 26 marries or graduates); or
  • Employee on Active Military Duty

After a qualifying event occurs, Employers with 20 or more employees must offer COBRA continuation coverage to the employee and/or qualified beneficiaries.

Why Should Your Company Use a Third Party Administrator for its COBRA Benefits?

COBRA is complex to administer and the fines for failing to follow the regulations can be hefty.  Outsourcing your COBRA Administration to Midwest Group Benefits will help to keep you compliant.

Midwest Group Benefits COBRA Services:

  • Notifying eligible participants of their COBRA rights;
  • Providing timely notice of COBRA eligibility, enrollment forms, duration of coverage and terms of payment after the qualifying event has occurred;
  • Collecting premiums, reinstating coverage and supplying appropriate notices if premiums are not received;
  • Providing timely notices when COBRA coverage ends.

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

  • Temporary premium assistance is available for periods of COBRA coverage beginning after April 1, 2021, but not for periods beginning after Sept. 30, 2021.
  • The temporary premium assistance and credit are available under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) which provides for a temporary 100% reduction in COBRA premiums for individuals and their families who elect COBRA continuation coverage due to a loss in group health coverage as a result of a reduction in work hours or involuntary termination of their employment.
  • ARPA also provides an extended COBRA election period.
  • The employer, insurer, or multiemployer plan to which the COBRA continuation premiums are payable then claims a refundable tax credit against its share of Medicare taxes.