Unpacking The Coverage Provisions In The House Pandemic Relief Bill
February 17, 2021
Days before his inauguration, President Joe Biden outlined a plan for COVID-19 relief and economic recovery that includes federal aid for health care expenses, such as providing subsidized Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) coverage.
With many individuals utilizing COBRA coverage services employers are scrambling to stay on top of the newest updates to keep compliant. Below are a few things you should know should they pass through congress:
The subsidy would begin the first month after the new law is enacted and extend through September 30, 2021.
The subsidy would not count towards an individual’s gross income and would be treated as an advance refundable payroll tax credit.
Those who have not yet enrolled in COBRA continuation coverage or who were enrolled but discontinued that coverage could opt into subsidized COBRA continuation coverage.
Any individual who is denied access to subsidies could file a request for expedited review by the Secretary of Labor or the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
COBRA subsidies are not available to those who are eligible to enroll in another group health plan, a flexible spending arrangement, a qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement, or Medicare.
Employers and group health plans would be required to provide several new notices to those who become eligible for COBRA continuation coverage.
Current COBRA Notices
Qualified Beneficiary's Notice of a Qualifying Event
COBRA Election Notice
Plan Administrator's Notice of COBRA Ineligibility
Notice of Early Termination
NEW additional COBRA Notices
Notices would address the availability of the new subsidies,
the option to enroll in different coverage as available,
the extended period to enroll in COBRA continuation coverage
the expiration of the premium assistance.
These changes require action. If you are currently self administering COBRA you must ensure your documents are up to date.
Discuss Your COBRA Options With Benafica
Remaining compliant with COBRA administration can be complex, by working with Benafica you will remain current and compliant with changing regulations. Contact us today if you have questions or are not currently utilizing our COBRA administration services.
To learn more about how we can help you, feel free to schedule a free consultation or call our St. Paul office today at 651-287-3253. You can also get in touch with us via our contact form, and a representative will reach out to you promptly.