Insights

Careful! This Alphabet Soup Can Burn You
ACA … FMLA … COBRA … ERISA…HIPAA

It’s an alphabet soup of federal laws. How each applies to your organization depends on the number of employees; some laws require compliance with only a few employees. And some states have their own requirements to add to the pot.

Failure to follow the law could lead to thousands of dollars in fines. And pleading ignorance won’t get you off the hook. Yet other companies waste millions of dollars over-complying with laws that don’t even apply to them.

Let’s take the topic of COBRA*. Not the spiciest subject to discuss but one that can cost you dearly. Did you know that with as few as 20 employees you are required to offer continuing health insurance coverage to any employee that separates due to a COBRA qualifying event?

Do you know what COBRA qualifying events are? Do you know when COBRA notices are required to be mailed? How about what information is supposed to be included in the notices? Not knowing or complying with even one of these requirements can cost you money.

Recently SunTrust Banks agreed to settle a lawsuit because its COBRA notices had been deficient. SunTrust assumed it had been meeting all the legal requirements but as you can read, that was not the case.  SunTrust Banks Settles COBRA Lawsuit

One way to ensure that you are consistently compliant with COBRA rules is to conduct annual audits of your COBRA processes. Reviewing your benefits administration processes can help you catch inconsistencies before they catch you.

Another way to keep COBRA compliant it to hire a third-party administrator (TPA) that understands COBRA inside and out. And can, in the process, save you time and money and minimize your risk and liability. iTEDIUM efficiently and cost-effectively manages COBRA administration through COBRAGuard, an iTEDIUM web-based software solution. COBRAGuard is a time saving solution that offers customized solutions, compliance and US-based account services.

COBRA – Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act – For additional information, www.dol.gov/ebsa.

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