What We Do: COBRA
By: Heidi Detweiler
Like many aspects of healthcare, COBRA is something that most don’t think about until they need it. While seemingly daunting and expensive, it is at times a necessity, to ensure that a person receives the continuous care they may need after a loss of coverage. With life’s unpredictability, even a day’s gap in coverage can be proven dangerous. That is why it is most important that COBRA regulations are understood and adhered to 100% of the time.
But what is COBRA?
COBRA was enacted to provide access to group health insurance for those who experience a loss of coverage due to a qualifying life event. Such an event may include:
- A termination of employment
- A reduction in working hours
- Divorce or legal separation
- The death of a covered employee
- A dependent child ceasing to be a dependent
- An employee becoming entitled to Medicare
COBRA durations range from 18-36 months*, depending on the event. During that time, participants remit the full premium of the same healthcare coverage they had under their former employer or as a previous dependent. While these rates may seem high, it’s important to remember that having a lapse in coverage is risky and potentially more expensive, should a participant find themselves needing coverage during this interim period.
What do we do?
The COBRA timeline is precise, meaning that there is only a 30 or 60-day window that an eligible person (aka “qualified beneficiary”) has until their enrollment period ends. This is why it is crucial for employers to take swift action when an employee should be offered coverage – and this is where we at Babb come in.
As a third-party administrator, we manage the enrollments, terminations, and account maintenance for each COBRA participant in our clientele. Our job is to handle the majority of these tasks, so that the process is streamlined for all of those involved. We aim to provide high-level customer service to anyone who has questions or inquiries about the COBRA procedure. We know that this transition can be tough, and we are here to provide the knowledge and support our clients and participants need to get through it.