Your COBRA software should provide you, your company and your clients with peace of mind. It should not create compliance headaches. Does your COBRA software offer exceptional support in the following four areas?
Compliance is the number one priority when selecting COBRA software. If all necessary notices are not sent out on time and with proof of mailing, expensive fines and lawsuits can follow. Even companies that send out notices in a timely manner may face lawsuits if those notices do not include all pertinent information.
It’s not just a hypothetical concern. In November, a former Wal-Mart employee filed a federal lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, Wal-Mart sent the required COBRA notice, but the notice was confusing and did not include all of the necessary information. Specifically, information about the rights of spouses and children was allegedly missing.
Earlier in 2016, SunTrust Banks agreed to a $290,000 lawsuit for claims the company’s COBRA notices failed to include information about the COBRA administrator or the procedure for electing coverage.
With statutory fees, tax penalties, attorney fees and lawsuit settlements, failure to send out compliant notices is a costly mistake.
Beyond notices, there are other compliance factors to take into account: election and payment windows; grace periods; admin fees; State Continuation; open enrollment; and more. Don’t forget that notices and regulations can change, so make sure you are getting regulation updates timely.
Security and Technology
Don’t trust your data to just anyone. A hot topic as-of late is the security of the system being used. A secure cloud-based program can offer convenience while protecting sensitive information. The infrastructure must be redundant and secure, and backup policies should provide easy recovery options. Upgrades and maintenance should be carried out by the vendor to guarantee seamless operations.
Other essential system features include trusted third-party vendors for payments, carrier-grade datacenters and Level 4 PCI merchant certification.
As a business, you do not want to risk client satisfaction. These days, people expect instant answers. Clients and participants want a COBRA solution they can access without a hassle. If they can’t get what they need—whenever and wherever they need it—they may look elsewhere for a more convenient solution.
Flexibility is another key component of client satisfaction. COBRA software should facilitate customization—without compromising compliance.
Implementation and Training
Finally, training and implementation set organizations up for success with technology. Any software, including COBRA, is useless if nobody knows how to use it. Help is especially important during the implementation period. However, continued access to online, phone and in-house customer service is also a must, as are training options and IT support. Other professional services should be available in case more complicated issues arise.
You don’t have to be stressed or overwhelmed considering all that could be at risk. To ensure that your COBRA software is giving you the protection you need, download this comprehensive checklist.