In business, time is money — and it's always in short supply. So you don’t want to spend a lot of it on anything that doesn’t drive your business forward, especially if it’s complex, has a lot of moving parts and involves compliance or regulatory requirements.
Many employers are looking to third parties to help with the complicated and time-consuming Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) External Site or State Continuation External Site administration process for these reasons.
What is COBRA/State Continuation?
COBRA, a federal law that was passed in 1985, gives employees and their families who lose health benefits the right to keep those benefits provided by their group plan for a limited period of time, under certain circumstances, if they choose to pay the premium. Circumstances could include voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in the hours worked, divorce and death.
COBRA is available nationwide, but only applies to employers with 20 or more employees.
State Continuation coverage applies to employers with less than 20 employees and offers similar protections for employees with employers who aren’t subject to the federal COBRA guidelines. Protections vary from state to state.
Both COBRA and State Continuation set specific rules for how and when employers must offer and provide coverage, how employees and their families may elect coverage and what circumstances justify terminating coverage.
What’s the benefit of having a third-party handle the administration?
Third-party administrators can handle time-consuming activities like:
- Notice fulfillment and return mail processing
- Premium billing, collection and remittance
- Eligibility reporting and termination processing
Additionally, third-party administrators typically have licensed benefit advisors who can guide qualified individuals along the way, help them find more affordable coverage and give them complete transparency so you spend less time researching and answering COBRA/State Continuation questions.
They also have the experience and expertise to make sure your COBRA or State Continuation administration is handled correctly and promptly to reduce the risk of non-compliance.
Looking to outsource your COBRA administration?
Learn about how we have partnered with HealthEquity External Site® to provide COBRA/State Continuation administration services to employers with 1–50 employees by downloading “brochure name” on the Wellmark Marketing Toolkit.
Questions? Contact your authorized Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield account representative to discover if these services are available at no additional cost to you, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Send Email.