Houston, TX, November 12, 2012 -
The Affordable Care Act (“ACA” or “Obamacare”) requires a “health insurance exchange” to be established in each state to allow individuals to obtain health insurance. It also requires employers with over fifty employees to offer health coverage to their employees or pay a large fine per employee to the Federal government.
Starting in 2014, individuals will be able to meet the new requirement to have health insurance by purchasing health coverage through a state-sponsored exchange (using after-tax dollars). Additionally, there is a new mandate for employers who employ more than 100 employees to offer employer-sponsored health coverage.
It is important to realize that the COBRA law remains a requirement under the Affordable Care Act and COBRA is actually referenced and relied upon within several provisions of Obamacare, such as the requirement to provide the health benefit costs on an individual’s W-2. Whether the state exchanges move forward with the current timeline or are permitted to be postponed through revised regulations or the increased issuance of state-exchange waivers, COBRA will continue to be law and compliance will continue to be required as an alternative choice for a qualified beneficiary.
Since 1986, Travis Software has provided software solutions to assist with COBRA administration and will continue to do so as the ACA unfolds because:
The ACA, if and when implemented, may provide a great opportunity for its TPA customers to increase the number of employers for whom they provide COBRA services. Also, those organizations who may be thinking of beginning to offer COBRA services may be encouraged to do so because of the new employer clients they may obtain due to the ACA’s requirement for group health insurance to be offered.
Many more employers will need to provide health coverage under the ACA, and if the state exchange coverage is either inadequate or very expensive, traditional group health coverage will continue to be the most cost-effective option for a COBRA qualified beneficiary. COBRA is continuing to be a part of the traditional group health insurance picture, and it may become even more important than it is now when the ACA is fully implemented.
Travis Software Corp. is based in Houston, Texas. It was founded in June 1986, shortly after the enactment of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, COBRA, which mandated group health continuation for the first time and created the market opportunity for the company's COBRA administration software system, TravisCobra®, and its web-based system for COBRA, WebCOBRA®.