What you need to provide employees when their benefits end
The BenefitWorks wants you to be aware of updates to two federal COBRA forms:
Please refer to the resources within this e-mail to ensure you are familiar with and following the appropriate COBRA and continuation laws.
What is COBRA?
- COBRA stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
- COBRA allows employees and their families to continue certain benefits they have through the employer when they lose those benefits
- Benefits might be lost due to voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in the hours worked, transition between jobs, death, divorce, a dependent turning age 26, and other life events
- Benefits through COBRA last for a specified time period (not indefinitely)
Does this affect my company?
- There is a federal COBRA law and then most states have their own continuation law
- If you have a COBRA service through a vendor then your vendor will take care of updating the two federal notices on their end
Your company is most likely subject to the federal COBRA law if it:
- Employed 20 or more employees on more than 50% of your business days in 2019 (part-time employees would be pro-rated and counted)
- Offers employees health, dental, vision and/or Flexible Spending Account benefits
- Is not a church
Your company is most likely subject to the state of WI Continuation Law if it:
- Is not subject to the federal COBRA law based on the points above
- Offers employees health benefits
- Is not self-insured
Resources for the federal COBRA law:
- When an employee enrolls in a COBRA-eligible benefit, the employer must provide the employee and spouse a general notice within the first 90 days of coverage
- This notice was recently updated and replaces any previous notices
- After learning that an employee and/or family member will lose group benefits, the employer must provide an election notice within 14 days
- This election notice was recently updated and replaces any previous election notice
- This FAQ sheet will quickly get you up-to-speed on COBRA basics
- This Employer’s Guide helps employers navigate COBRA
- The DOL website offers additional resources
If you would like a quote for your company’s COBRA services to be handled by one of our trusted vendors, contact The BenefitWorks
Resources for the state of WI Continuation law:
- Sample WI Continuation Election Form (WI State Continuation Template) (Word Version – Continuation)
- When an employee and/or family member who has been continuously covered under the group health plan for at least three months loses that coverage, the employer must provide a continuation form within 5 days of their last day of coverage
- Note: Employees who live outside of the state of Wisconsin during employment with an employer located within the state of Wisconsin would be eligible for continuation coverage.
- This Fact Sheet is an easy-to-follow resource that answers FAQ
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