As part of the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), most employers subject to the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) will be responsible for pre-funding and administering a temporary COBRA premium subsidy program for employees and their dependents who have lost coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic due to involuntary termination or reduction in hours. This Premium Assistance Program applies to Guardian's fully-insured and self-funded (ASO) dental and vision coverages.
- Employers subject to federal COBRA (usually those employers with 20 or more employees) are responsible for notifying eligible employees and their dependents of this Premium Assistance Program and for paying the COBRA premiums covered under the Program.
- Employers that are not subject to federal COBRA (usually those employers with less than 20 employees) may still have shared responsibilities with Guardian based on state continuation requirements that are somewhat similar to COBRA.
This month, Guardian is contacting all fully-insured dental and vision planholders, with fewer than 20 enrollees, in California (CA), Rhode Island (RI), Utah (UT), West Virginia (WV), New Hampshire (NH) and Vermont (VT) to inform them of how the American Rescue Plan Act may impact members participating in their group health plan.
For more information on the COBRA subsidy, click here