PBS COBRA Administration

When it comes to cobra administration services, organizations often find it time-consuming and an administrative burden. The complexities of COBRA regulations and the numerous requirements involved in compliance service can be overwhelming for HR teams. From termination notices to continuation coverage, benefits administration can quickly become a daunting task. This is where outsourcing COBRA comes in. By partnering with a third-party administrator like Progressive Benefits Solutions, organizations can streamline the administration of COBRA and ensure that they remain compliant with COBRA laws and federal COBRA requirements.

Comprehensive Cobra Solutions

With open enrollment periods, COBRA insurance, and state continuation options to consider, employers must have a COBRA solution that covers all bases. PBS offers a range of HR services to help manage COBRA insurance and ensure that employees receive the health benefits they are entitled to. From group health coverage to health savings accounts (HSA), our team of experts can guide organizations through the intricacies of COBRA compliance and administration companies.

What is COBRA?

COBRA is a federal law that allows employees to continue their employer-sponsored health insurance coverage for a limited period of time if they lose their job or experience a qualifying event that would otherwise result in a loss of coverage. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1985 gives employees the option to pay for their insurance coverage at the group rate that employers typically pay. Employees must pay the full premium cost themselves. COBRA coverage typically lasts 18 to 36 months, depending on the circumstances.

COBRA coverage can be a helpful option for individuals who are between jobs or experiencing a major life change that affects their health insurance coverage. It allows them to maintain their current level of coverage while they search for a new job or make other arrangements for insurance. However, it is important to note that COBRA coverage can be expensive, as individuals are responsible for paying the full premium cost themselves without any employer contribution. It is important for individuals to carefully consider their options and costs before deciding to continue their coverage through COBRA.

At PBS, we are the advocate to ensure appropriate notifications are provided, process elections, bill, and record premium payments to ensure they are paid in full.

Our team will notify COBRA participants of plan and rate changes when health plans renew and insurance carriers of enrollment changes.

How Does COBRA Administration Work?

Understanding COBRA’s role in HR compliance is essential for managing employee benefits and group health plans effectively. At its core, COBRA, or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, mandates that employers with 20 or more employees who provide a group health insurance plan must offer a temporary extension of health coverage—known as COBRA benefits—under specific conditions that would normally lead to the termination of coverage. These conditions include:

  • Job loss
  • Reduction in hours worked
  • Transitions between jobs
  • Death
  • Divorce
  • Other significant life events

The intricacies of COBRA administration encompass a range of responsibilities, from issuing required notices and handling premium payments to ensuring eligible individuals can continue their coverage seamlessly.

Given the complexity and time-consuming nature of COBRA administration, along with the need to comply with both federal and state regulations, many employers consider outsourcing this function. A specialized COBRA administrator can offer a comprehensive solution tailored to the needs of any organization, integrating smoothly with broader human capital management systems. These solutions often include:

  • Simplified enrollment processes
  • Efficient notice distribution
  • Streamlined premium collection

Outsourcing COBRA administration not only ensures adherence to all legal requirements but also allows businesses to dedicate more resources to their core operations. Leveraging the expertise of a COBRA administrator becomes a strategic decision in effective human capital management, ensuring compliance and operational efficiency.

This approach underscores the importance of COBRA knowledge within HR practices and highlights the benefits of external administration services for maintaining compliance and enhancing organizational focus.

What To Look For In a Good COBRA Administrator

A skilled COBRA administrator is key to managing the complexities of COBRA administration effectively. Their role involves a deep understanding of both federal and state continuation laws, crucial for ensuring compliance across all operations. These professionals are not just knowledgeable; they’re adept at applying this knowledge practically, particularly in the integration of COBRA with other health benefit mechanisms such as:

This integration is vital for offering a comprehensive management solution that aligns with employer-sponsored group health plans.

Key signs of a proficient COBRA administrator include:

  • A thorough grasp of the federal laws mandating COBRA coverage by employers.
  • The ability to clearly communicate COBRA rights and coverage details to employees.
  • Efficiency in handling the COBRA process, especially following qualifying events.

Furthermore, an effective COBRA administrator proactively mitigates risks related to COBRA noncompliance, safeguarding the business against potential liabilities. Their expertise ensures that employees entitled to COBRA continuation coverage receive their benefits seamlessly, integrating these services with the broader objectives of the organization’s benefits offerings. This role is crucial for maintaining the integrity of group health benefits and supporting the organization’s compliance and employee benefits strategies.

Frequently Asked Questions about COBRA Administration

1. What is COBRA, and why is it important for employers?

COBRA stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. It requires employers with group health plans to offer continuation coverage to employees and their dependents who would otherwise lose coverage due to a qualifying event. This is important as it enables individuals to maintain their health plan coverage during certain circumstances.

2. When should a COBRA notice be provided?

A COBRA notice must be provided to employees and their dependents within a certain timeframe following a qualifying event, such as termination of employment or reduction of hours. Employers must ensure timely notification to avoid any compliance issues.

3. What are the key responsibilities of a COBRA administrator?

A COBRA administrator is responsible for the administration of COBRA benefits, ensuring compliance with COBRA regulations, handling enrollment processes, billing and premium payments, and providing notice to eligible individuals about their continuation options.

4. Can employers outsource COBRA administration?

Yes, employers have the option to outsource their COBRA administration to a third-party administrator who specializes in benefits administration. This can help streamline processes and ensure compliant management of COBRA requirements.

5. What is the difference between state continuation and federal COBRA?

State continuation refers to individual state laws that may provide similar benefits to COBRA, while federal COBRA is governed by federal law. Employers must adhere to both state and federal regulations regarding continuation coverage.

6. How can employers ensure comprehensive compliance with COBRA laws?

Employers can ensure comprehensive compliance with COBRA laws by partnering with a reputable COBRA compliance service that offers expertise in employee benefits and health savings accounts. This helps in meeting all legal requirements

PBS is here to help you through the process of all the necessary COBRA/HIPAA administration.

Our call center is open during PBS’s business hours to help answer any questions you may have! PBS also provides employees with an online COBRA portal to manage their account through the web.

Email: cobra.support@pbscard.com
Phone: 1-888-333-3901