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Self COBRA Administration - Worth the Risk?
http://cobrainsurance.com/information/articles/16/1/Self-COBRA-Administration---Worth-the-Risk/Page1.html
By DS Kennedy/ COBRA Insurance Expert
Published on 07/5/2007
 
COBRA administration is a complex business. Non-compliance can result in stiff Government penalties, legal fees and productivity losses.

COBRA Compliance Checklist
Is My Organization Required to Offer COBRA to Employees?

To be subject to COBRA, your organization must have employed 20 or more workers on at least half of your regular business days in the last calendar year, and you must currently provide a group health plan. Group health plans include the following benefits:
  • Medical insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Medical reimbursement flexible spending accounts
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that provides more than referrals
  • Prescription drug plan
If your organization is subject to COBRA, you should be able to answer "yes" to all of these questions:

  1. Do you provide Initial COBRA Notifications to covered employees and their dependents once they become covered by your group health plan(s)?
  2. Are employees and their dependents given an opportunity to continue their coverage when a qualifying event occurs?
  3. Can you prove that you provide Initial COBRA Notifications and COBRA election information, and that this information is provided within the time period mandated by COBRA?
  4. Do you know what the qualifying events are under COBRA?
  5. Are you complying with HIPAA privacy and portability rules?
  6. Are you complying with the COBRA timelines? Do you know how long you have to send a COBRA notice after a qualifying event occurs? How long the election period is? What the two grace periods for payment of premium are and the duration of each?
  7. Do you adjudicate eligibility and participation consistently?
  8. Are you monitoring the effect of COBRA participants on your experience rating?
  9. Are you maintaining COBRA records? Do you know how long you are required to store these records before they may safely be destroyed?
  10. Do you know the penalties and liabilities associated with COBRA violations? Did you know that COBRA violations are not covered by General Liability insurance?
    COBRA Administration

COBRA Administration and COBRA compliance is our business - so that you can focus on yours.
Cobra Guard provides automated, web-based COBRA administration - the most advanced outsourced solution available.
Whether you are a large corporation with multiple COBRA administrators, a small company with concerns about compliance or a provider of benefits services with a need to offer COBRA administration services to your clients, Cobra Guard can help.

COBRA Administration
Outsourcing with CobraGuard

Outsourcing is a relationship that allows your company to perform business processes productively and cost-effectively. For critical, legally required processes like COBRA administration, outsourcing provides you with the assurance that your company is in compliance with the law, and with considerable cost savings over performing COBRA Administration in-house.

When a company outsources a business process, it transfers responsibility – and accountability for results – to its provider. An outsourcer like CobraGuard improves the way a business process, such as COBRA administration, is done. Software applications that eliminate manual or paper-based processes are an example of how an outsourced service provider improves a business process.

How Are Outsourced Services Provided?

Outsourced service providers that offer Web-based access to their applications can provide the greatest convenience and cost savings, because they automate tedious, manual processes and make reports and information easily accessible. CobraGuard offers the most advanced, secure and fully automated COBRA administration services over the Web.

Why Outsource with Cobra Guard?

Outsourcing your Cobra Administration through CobraGuard is an efficient, cost-effective way to ensure your company is in compliance with COBRA regulations:

Increased Productivity: By eliminating time-consuming, confusing, manual COBRA compliance, such as manual preparation and mailing of notifications, paper document storage and employee history and eligibility tracking, Cobra Guard allows you to access and maintain your company's COBRA activity faster and more accurately.

Specialized Expertise: A relationship with Cobra Guard provides your company with the most advanced software applications without having to plan for upgrades or install new releases.

Rapid Implementation and Access: With Cobra Guard, there are no installation or infrastructure expenses - the hardware, software and technology infrastructure are already in place. This means that your company can implement a COBRA administration solution and realize the benefits in a very short time.

Predictable, Affordable Costs: A relationship with Cobra Guard provides you with the most advanced COBRA compliance system while eliminating the need for a major capital expenditure. Cobra Guard ensures your company's COBRA compliance with affordable, monthly rates.
COBRA Administration