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:

UPDATED: COBRA General Notice (Model General PDF) (Model General Word Version)

  • 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

UPDATED: COBRA Election Notice (Model Election Notice PDF) (Model Election Word Version)

  • 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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