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Aetna's COBRA Provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Mar 04, 2009


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was signed into law by President Obama February 17th. Included in this comprehensive economic stimulus package was an expansion of COBRA rules to provide a nine-month COBRA premium subsidy of 65% to individuals and their families who were (or may become) involuntarily terminated from employment between September 1, 2008 to December 31, 2009.

The Law provides specific eligibility and notification requirements and the manner by which reimbursement of the subsidy is obtained from the government. On February 26, the Internal Revenue Service released its first round of information for employers to use in administering the new subsidy program. Included are the subsidy reporting form, instructions and a very detailed questions-and-answers piece. The Department of Labor is still working on model notices and other guidance for release by March 17.

Details about eligible state continuation plans are still unavailable. Aetna will communicate those changes as they become available.

COBRA changes

Aetna has closely monitored and reviewed COBRA changes as they passed through Congress. As such, they are making the necessary systems and process changes to ensure compliance with the new requirements now that the stimulus package has become law.

Additional guidance is still forthcoming from the Departments of Labor, Treasury and Internal Revenue Service. Aetna is actively working on this and will monitor the on-going guidance to provide you additional information as it becomes available.

 National and Key Market COBRA Administration
Aetna's Individual Billing Administration (IBA) area will be well positioned to support the new COBRA mandates and Aetna ensures full compliance with the new requirements. Their IBA team serves customers from National and Key Account market segments to provide a full suite of COBRA administration services including off-payroll billing, collection and eligibility maintenance services (for Aetna and non-Aetna coverage). Aetna IBA COBRA and non-COBRA administration is an excellent add-on to existing business or an initial (or remaining) service offered to prospective customers.

 Small & Select COBRA Administration
Producers can access all the necessary details including pre-sale, enrollment and setup forms and materials for Aetna's COBRA administration for employers with 20-299 lives here.

Sales materials for employers with 20-299 employees:
 Economic Relief Information and Materials
The economic downturn has resulted in increased COBRA activity. These COBRA marketing materials may assist your customers and are available to use as appropriate.

Maximize your benefits for consumers
Aetna has launched a new campaign to help members, providers, employers and other key stakeholders maximize benefits during this economic downturn. This site includes tips on how members can save money, cope with stress and more.

Members can access Aetna COBRA information on their website.

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