Who pays for health coverage post-retirement?
The U.S. workforce is facing a "silver tsunami." By 2020, a quarter of all workers will be 55 or older, and many will be weighing options for early retirement. Attorneys representing employers and aging employees must understand the interplay between COBRA coverage, Medicare, and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
COBRA in the Context of an Aging Workforce explains the options for health coverage after retirement and how those options impact the employee, their beneficiaries, and the employer.
Your COBRA ABCs
Say an employer wishes to help cover the costs of continuing health coverage for retiring employees. Should the employer keep them on the employer health insurance plan and keep paying plan premiums? Offer COBRA coverage and subsidize premiums? Offer paid "alternative coverage" if an employee waives COBRA?
The short answer is "it depends." Consider this your COBRA primer. We'll explore:
- COBRA basics for employees and their dependents
- Qualifying events that trigger coverage (or end of coverage) for qualified beneficiaries
- How COBRA, Medicare, and SSDI interact for the recipient and beneficiaries
Once you've gone over the nuts and bolts, dig even deeper by learning the answers to questions such as:
- How does Medicare interact with employer-sponsored health insurance when the recipient is still employed?
- What happens to the worker and his or her beneficiaries if they become entitled to Medicare after the COBRA election date?
- What happens to retirees receiving health benefits if the employer files a Chapter 11 bankruptcy?
Finally, we'll analyze common scenarios of providing continuing health benefits to retiring employees to discover which option may be the most prudent choice under the circumstances.
If COBRA has you confused, become more confident on advising your clients on continuing health coverage with COBRA in the Context of an Aging Workforce.