COBRA is a program designed to give employees that leave employment (retirement, termination, etc.) the option to continue the same insurance plans (Medical, Dental, and/or Vision) they had when they were employed at their own expense. For most participants it lasts for 18 months, but retirees can stay on COBRA indefinitely or until they become eligible for Medicare.
Rocky Mountain Reserve is the COBRA administrator. RMR works with insurance companies (CIGNA, UHC, Kaiser, etc.) to make sure participants on COBRA remain active during their time enrolled in the program. RMR also processes premium payments.
Enrolling in COBRA
When a record of termination is received by Rocky Mountain Reserve (RMR), we send a Specific Rights Notice to the employee in question. This letter is sent by mail as it is the most reliable way to ensure the reception of the letter. This documentation contains everything a participant should know about COBRA (Premium amounts, where to send payments, how to access the COBRA online portal, etc.) Participants may call, or email, customer service to have this letter sent via email.
Enrollment can be made in three ways:
- Fill out, sign, and mail the Specific Rights Notice to the address in Omaha, NE.
- Scan the filled out form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Elect online by accessing your COBRA Online Portal.
Participants have 60 days to enroll in COBRA. After making the election, they have 45 days to make the initial payment to pay up to the current month. COBRA is retroactive, so if a participant leaves their company at the beginning of June and doesn't enroll until July, they will need to pay for June and will be covered retroactively for that month. Additionally, COBRA does not allow for gaps in coverage.
There is a small delay between enrollment and reactivation of insurance due to processing time.
For more information, please refer to the COBRA Election Process article.
What happens to my deductible when I go on COBRA?
Funds that have been applied to the deductible while an active employee should remain applied to the deductible and carried over on the COBRA side. Sometimes participants will see that their deductibles have reset to zero. If your deductible is not showing correctly, please contact the carrier and ask them to correct the amount.
Maintaining COBRA Coverage
Maintaining Cobra coverage is as simple as making payments on time. All payments are due on the 1st. RMR allows a 30 day grace period to make the payment. However, we recommend making payments on the 1st. For more information on the different methods of payment, please refer to the Premium Payment Options article.
If you discover that your insurance does not show you as active, even though you are enrolled in Cobra. First, check to see if you have made payment for the month. If no, you'll need to send payment in before you'll be able to be covered. If you have made the premium payment, contact customer service. They will send a request to the insurance carrier to have you reactivated. Because the processing time for reinstatement requests varies from insurance company to insurance company, we strongly recommend verifying with your insurance that you are active well before any appointments that will require you to use your insurance.
Terminating COBRA Coverage
Participants can choose to end their COBRA coverage before the 18 month period is over. For instructions and questions about ending COBRA, please refer to the Terminating COBRA Coverage article.