COBRA is an acronym for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. COBRA is a program that gives employees and their dependents the opportunity to continue their coverage in cases where they would otherwise lose coverage because of certain events.
COBRA, Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, provides that employers who sponsor group health plans must permit covered individuals who lose coverage under the plan as a result of certain enumerated events, to elect to continue their coverage under the plan for a prescribed period of time on a self-pay basis.
Employees and all covered dependents are eligible for continuation of existing benefits under EPI’s plans for medical, dental, vision and FSA, at time of separation from the company, reduction in hours (loss of full-time status), loss of dependent status due to age, death, divorce, LTD or leave of absence.
COBRA coverage is administered by WageWorks, formerly ADP Benedirect. At the time of the qualifying event, EPI provides WageWorks with the employee’s and dependents’ current insurance coverages. WageWorks will send a COBRA Election Notice to the employee within 14 days of receiving the information. The employee has a grace period of 60 days from the date that the notice is mailed, to return the completed election form to WageWorks, and an additional 45 days to remit payment to WageWorks.
When COBRA coverage has been elected by the employee, his/her insurance benefits will be reinstated back to the initial coverage loss date, and payment will be required retroactive to that date. Coverage will continue for the applicable duration based on the type of event OR until the beneficiary ceases payments to WageWorks, whichever comes first. WageWorks will send payment coupons (invoices) to the individual, with which to remit payment to them. Participants will be responsible for the full cost of each coverage elected (no employer contribution) in most cases, unless specifically agreed upon otherwise.
|Termination of employment or Reduction in hours of the Covered Employee||Covered Employee Spouse (of Covered Employee) Dependent Children (of Covered Employee)||18 Months|
|Termination of employment or Reduction in hours of the Covered Employee, with a Social Security disability determination||Covered Employee Spouse (of Covered Employee) Dependent Children (of Covered Employee)||29 Months|
|Death of Covered Employee - Divorce or Legal Separation of the Covered Employee & Spouse - Employee Entitlement to Medicare||Spouse (of Covered Employee) Dependent Children (of Covered Employee)||36 Months|
|Loss of Dependent Status||Dependent Children (of Covered Employee)||36 Months|