We understand businesses may be forced to make difficult decisions in these uncertain times.
Most employers with 20 or more employees must follow COBRA continuation of coverage notice rules, if they make certain changes to an employee’s health coverage. Smaller employers may be subject to similar state laws. In PA and NJ we have Mini-COBRA. Not following the rules properly may cause an employer to incur large fines.
Here are some and notes we thought might be helpful along with some of the questions we are getting:
- We are available and are helping our clients just call (215) 355-2121 and one of our specialists will be available to help you. Most of the carriers are also although response times are delayed. After speaking with a benefit specialist they can provide their direct number for you to enhance your communication experience.
- Are you working from home and unable to make payments or get coverage information? Let us know and we can typically get your invoice or proof of coverage or a copy of an ID card for you, an employee or their family members.
- We are also helping a large number of people get their own coverage as layoffs and furloughs are happening, we can help. Just send anyone who needs help our way. We can help your employees transition to their own coverage for now if necessary and maintain continuity of coverage. Click here for self serve rates and benefits for ACA plans.
- Incoming Faxes: We are currently experiencing intermittent delays with our incoming fax service so please call or email us if you are sending or have sent a fax to confirm receipt.
- Do you know the COBRA requirements for layoffs, reduction of hours or furloughs? If you reduce a covered employee’s hours and if the employee loses health coverage, you may have to offer the employee (and covered dependents) a COBRA election. This could be the case even if the layoff or reduction in hours is temporary! You should send a COBRA notice like you would for any other COBRA qualifying event
- Can we pay an employee’s COBRA premiums? Yes! An employer can pay for all or a part of the employee’s COBRA premiums. COBRA notices can be adjusted to reflect the employers contribution .
- What about Small Employers? For many on Mini-COBRA there is no change to your billing or enrollment you simply leave that employee on your invoice for the duration of Mini-COBRA eligibility.
- How long does COBRA coverage last? For a reduction of hours or termination of employment, COBRA can last up to 18 months. If a continuant is disabled within the first 18 months of COBRA coverage and provides a determination of disability from the Social Security Administration in a timely manner, coverage may be extended from 18 to 29 months. There are different time frames for other COBRA events . In Pennsylvania Mini-COBRA is a nine month eligibility period.
- Are employees on Medicare affected? Yes! Medicare beneficiaries who are covered under an employer plan can and may want to choose to move to a Medicare plan. For many this is the best option to ensure continuity of coverage. We can make sure that the process is smooth transition.
- Want to see Individual ACA plans? We have a self serve link available if you would like to view and compare ACA plans yourself to pass the time by clicking here. However we recommend you let us assist you for the best possible results.
- For those with no coverage or losing it, Teledoc is an excellent way to get medical attention immediately. Total Benefit Solutions, has a number of packages that include a $0 copay Teledoc benefit for as low as $19.95 per month. Some packages include vision, dental and more. Click here to view, compare and enroll.