As you might already know, the May 31 deadline for submitting notices of COBRA and CAL-COBRA eligibility (as outlined by the American Rescue Plan Act) is rapidly approaching.
The ARPA extended “free” COBRA coverage to all employees who would have otherwise been eligible during the past 18 months. You, as the employer, are responsible for providing that coverage and will be reimbursed by a tax credit later on.
But first, you must submit information on these employees to your health insurance provider. Some insurance companies have already communicated with covered small businesses, while others are still working through the process. Either way, you will be required to follow through with your side of the responsibilities by the deadline.
Please note that this information applies to both COBRA and CAL-COBRA groups.
COBRA Administrators should already be in contact with you. Watch for their notifications.
CAL-COBRA groups need to be prepared to take the action as directed by their insurance carrier. Not all carriers are handling this situation the same way and it could require you to take prompt action as we are approaching the deadline. Please pay attention and be ready for any correspondence that might come from your insurance carrier.
Prepare this information now, so that it is ready to go once your notice arrives. Eligible employees include:
- Those who have been insured during the last 18 months, but were terminated or laid off. (Those who quit voluntarily are not eligible.)
- Those who were insured but are no longer eligible for health benefits due to a reduction in hours
- Dependents of the above past or present employees
Additionally, you will be responsible for providing the same information to your insurance company for any COBRA-eligible employees in the future. As of now, the ARPA offers this subsidized COBRA coverage through September 30.
Notices must be sent to all ex-employees who Involuntarily lost benefits, and Assistance Eligible Individuals (AEIs) by May 31. Get ahead of this deadline now, so that you aren’t forced to rush at the last minute. Contact our office if you need further assistance to understand this process.