Blog - COBRA or State Continuation- Does it really matter?

COBRA or State Continuation- Does it really matter?

How do you know if your Employer sponsored group plan is COBRA or State Continuation?

With Savers it’s simple….It’s all in the details.

COBRA

Employer groups with 20 or more employees are regulated by Federal COBRA guidelines.  COBRA eligible benefits include group Health, Dental, Vision, Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSA), Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA), and Employee Assistance Programs (EAP).  The maximum eligible COBRA period varies from 18, 29, or 36 months depending on the Qualifying Event.

State Continuation

Employer groups with less than 20 employees are governed by State Continuation guidelines.  These guidelines are specific to each state so it is important to know the regulations for your specific state.  For North Carolina, State Continuation eligible benefits include group Health plans and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA).  The maximum eligible State Continuation period is 18 months regardless of the Qualifying Event.

Some aspects of COBRA and State Continuation are very similar.  However, it is very important that Employers know if they are classified as COBRA or State Continuation. 

For instance:

An Employer with less than 20 employees will not offer a terminating employee the option to continue a group Dental plan, only health plans and HRAs are State Continuation eligible benefits.  However, an Employer with 20 or more employees is required to offer a terminating employee the option to continue a group Dental plan because it is a COBRA eligible benefit.  Failure to offer a COBRA eligible benefit will put the Employer at risk for penalties and fees for non-compliance. 

 

For more information about COBRA/State Continuation, please email or call us.

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