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Compliance made easy with BCBSGa COBRA Solutions

For over 67 years, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa) has been providing Georgia companies with the choice of quality affordable health care coverage for their company’s associates. As the largest health care insurer in the state, we offer you the stability that you can trust and the solutions to make your COBRA compliance Easy.

COBRA Solutions will administer COBRA for you and provide the following services:

  • Notify all eligible employees about COBRA continuation
  • Handle billing, collecting and remitting monthly premiums
  • Nofity COBRA beneficiaries when benefits are scheduled to end
  • Provide a monthly report to you, the employer, about your COBRA membership
  • Online Access to send COBRA notifications to COBRA Solutions
COBRA Solutions does not provide:
  • Annual employee notices or notices to newly hired employees regarding COBRA services. In the event that you need notices for this purpose (see the enclosed sample), copies can be obtained by calling BCBSGa COBRA Solutions.
  • Memos or notices to employees regarding benefit changes or premiums as well as the benefit booklets or contracts associated. Your company should send these documents to the COBRA members at the same time that active employees are notified.
  • Open enrollment information

For more information on Forms click here.

COBRA Compliance Requirements

  • If you maintain an employee health plan which you sponsor for your employees and you averaged 20 or more employees in the last calendar year, you are required to offer COBRA to your employees.
  • Employees only need to be covered under the health plan for one day to be eligible for COBRA continuation.
  • Every employer with 20 or more employees is required to notify each employee and their eligible dependent(s) about their COBRA rights when they first become covered under the group health plan.
  • Each time coverage is lost due to a "Qualifying Event" employers are required by federal law to notify the employee within 30 days of the “qualifying event” even if the employee states that he or she does not want or need to continue benefits under COBRA. This notice must be sent to the last known address and separate notifications must be sent to the employees eligible dependents should they live at a separate address.
  • Employers must allow continued coverage for employees and their eligible dependents for up to 18 months as a result of unemployment or reduction in hours. Additionally, an employer may elect to continue coverage for up to 36 months for other Qualifying Events such as:
    1. death of the employee
    2. divorce or legal separation
    3. dependents that cease to be a "dependent" under the terms of the group health plan
    4. an employee losing coverage because of Medicare eligibility
  • Qualified dependents (an employee’s spouse or dependent child who is covered on the day before the Qualifying Event) are entitled to elect to continue their coverage, within 60 days of receipt of the COBRA notification.
  • The same health benefits offered to active employees must be available to COBRA qualified dependents. Dependents may also choose from the “core” coverage or other health benefit options offered to active employees.
  • Employees who elect to continue benefits after a qualifying event may be allowed to add new dependents under their extended coverage and also change benefits annually if the option is available to active employees. This continued coverage must be offered to eligible employees even if the group falls below 20 full or part-time employees.
  • Initial premium payment for continuation must be received within 45 days after the date of election by COBRA participants. A grace period of no less than 30 days would be required for all subsequent premiums.
  • COBRA qualified employees are billed the group’s active health plan rates plus an additional 2% administrative expense allowed by the COBRA regulation.
  • If the Social Security Administration determines that the qualified beneficiary is considered disabled under Title II or XVI of the Social Security Act within 60 days of the qualifying event, the continuation period must be extended for 29 months from the qualifying event rather than 18 months. Once the beneficiary is eligible for Medicare, COBRA coverage will cease.
  • COBRA coverage must be continued even if an exclusion or limitation with respect to any pre-existing condition affects a continuant’s current coverage.
  • Following the expiration of COBRA coverage, the qualified continuee must be offered continuation coverage under any conversion plan that is available to the groups employees.
  • COBRA compliance is serious, therefore, it is advised that legal consultation supersede any COBRA compliance overview provided in this brochure. Judicial decisions are subject to change at any time. If you are ever in doubt, please contact an attorney.

For more information on Forms click here.

How to Enroll Your Group

To utilize BCBSGa COBRA Solutions, simply complete the top portion of the COBRA Administration group application. List your name as it appears on your BCBSGa group application. The contact person should be the name of the employee or group administrator who is appointed to discuss benefit or COBRA questions from BCBSGa with your employees. Your marketing representative of BCBSGa will complete the remainder of the form with you. Additional information will be required if your company currently has COBRA participants prior to joining/enrolling with BCBSGa COBRA Solutions. A COBRA notification form must also be completed for any/all future eligible participants, submitted either hard copy or via the Internet. The COBRA effective date is the date this service should go into effect with BCBSGa.

Contact your marketing representative if you have any questions regarding the COBRA enrollment process.

Please note: A service agreement must also be completed at the time of your enrollment. This form provides an overview of the services performed by COBRA Solutions and outlines the obligation of your group in the provision of information to us for the purpose of COBRA administration for you.


For more information on Forms click here.

Reports

COBRA Solutions will furnish you a listing showing the status of the qualified beneficiaries enrolled and pending enrollment on your group health plan. This report is mailed out by the 15th of each month. You may also access enrollment reports via COBRA Solutions Web Access. If additional reports are needed, COBRA Solutions reserves the right to charge a fee for providing them to you. As an employer, you should compare each month’s report to the members of your group that experienced a qualifying event. A good reference is the employee listing on your COBRA Solutions Member Notification Form. The employees on your notification form should appear on our report if their enrollment is pending or if they are currently paying COBRA premiums to our office. If a member does not elect COBRA continuation coverage, they will be dropped from our reporting following the 60 days they have to enroll. If there are any questions about this report or any COBRA participant, please contact COBRA Solutions.


BCBSGa COBRA Solutions Web Access

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa) COBRA Solutions is making it easier for you to do business with us. In addition to the helpful resources already available, we also offer COBRA Solutions Web Access (CSWA), our online transaction service. CSWA allows you to enter COBRA notification transactions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

With CSWA you can quickly send notifications with our paper-free, electronic enrollment service that uses the speed and convenience of the Internet. It’s easy, efficient and saves you time in completing your daily COBRA tasks. All you need is Internet Explorer version 6.0 or later, a mouse and keyboard to get started.

CSWA offers you more control

  • Control over employee termination information
  • Control over accuracy of information
  • Error messages that signal missing or incomplete information was entered
  • Electronic prompts that guide you from one step to the next

Enter here to access CSWA, our web based tool that allows you to electronically submit your COBRA Notification Information to COBRA Solutions.

*This option only available for Employer Groups administered by BCBSGa. If your Group's COBRA is not administered by BCBSGa and you would like to join, please email cobrasolutions@bcbsga.com for more information.

For more information on Forms click here.


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