COBRA: Why Experience Counts

By GDI Client Services
Managing COBRA for your organization on your own is a daunting task. New laws passed in the last 18 months have only increased the challenges associated with COBRA administration. Experience with COBRA compliance continues to be crucial. Listed below are the three primary reasons why GDI’s experience counts. **Deadlines and Other Penalty Pitfalls**
Employers put themselves at risk of potential penalties when they don’t meet federally mandated COBRA deadlines for sending general rights notices and COBRA election notices. There are other potential areas where lack of experience can be detrimental:
- Not realizing a benefit plan is subject to COBRA - COBRA and Medicare due to age and/or disability - Charging Qualified Beneficiaries incorrect COBRA premiums
**COBRA Legislation**
Legislative changes have become the norm since early 2020. The most notable COBRA legislative change occurred earlier this year when the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) became law. In a nutshell, ARPA permitted Qualified Beneficiaries who were involuntarily terminated or experienced a reduction in hours to continue their employer’s health insurance coverage under COBRA through September 30th at no cost. GDI managed all of the required notices and subsidies at no additional cost to our clients.
**Communicating with Qualified Beneficiaries **
GDI’s COBRA compliance experience also shows when it comes to the content of communicating to qualified beneficiaries. COBRA is a complex topic that requires experience in keeping it simple. Having a staff of knowledgeable and responsive customer service professionals to assist Qualified Beneficiaries is one of the many ways we have earned our excellent reputation.
Technology also plays a key role in communication. GDI makes is easy to establish data transfers from an employer’s HRIS/Benefit Administration platform so that notices are sent timely without the need for manual intervention.
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