Staying Smart about COBRA

Robbie MossBlog, Health Care

Is the complexity of COBRA causing your head to spin? You’re not alone.  The requirements to qualify for this healthcare are complicated, but not impossible to understand.

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, more simply known as COBRA, requires most businesses to offer a continuation of healthcare to former employees. The qualifications include termination or reduction of hours for an employee for reasons other than gross misconduct. The family of a deceased employee can also qualify for coverage, rather than having to buy a more expensive independent healthcare plan.

The following are a few tips to help your business avoid discrepancies:

  • Remember, COBRA applies to more than just major healthcare. It covers dental and vision costs, as well as prescription drugs
  • Keep in mind, not every state has the same requirements for COBRA.
  • Be aware of the specific requirements for eligibility in your state and the different lengths of offered coverage
  • Send out notices to eligible beneficiaries informing them of their rights
  • Document when and to which employees you sent notices to
  • Visit http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq_compliance_cobra.html.