The 3 C’s Keeping HR Pros Awake at Night: COVID-19, COBRA and Compliance

In April 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the suspension of certain federal deadlines related to employee benefits for the duration of the COVID-19 National Emergency. Those deadlines, set under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), primarily pertain to the COBRA program that allows for the continuation of employee group health plan coverage after employment ends.

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the DOL’s announcement with the National Emergency declaration still in effect and a new relief provisions complicating matters for plan administrators, employers and COBRA beneficiaries may need guidance regarding timelines and deadlines. To assist, Alera Group’s employee benefits compliance team has produced two new documents.

COBRA & COVID-19, a six-page whitepaper, includes:

  • Timeline changes
  • Scenarios comparing pre-COVID timeline rules with National Emergency rules
  • New subsidy rules under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
  • A chart comparing classifications of COBRA beneficiaries
  • Scenarios involving both timeline rules and subsidy consideration.

COBRA Subsidy Quick Facts is a two-page flyer that breaks down the details of five challenges facing plan administrators:

  • Premium subsidy
  • The extended election period
  • Rules regarding plan enrollment options
  • Required notices by employers to employees
  • Coordination with the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC).

In addition to downloading the documents, plan administrators and other HR professionals will want to register for Alera Group’s April 15 webinar, 2021 Legislative Update: What You Need to Know to Stay ERISA Compliant. Attendees will receive valuable information about the most recent regulatory changes and have the opportunity to earn SHRM credits.