COBRA Broker Website User Guide

Key Takeaway

Instructions for adding new plan members/new hires and/or qualified beneficiaries using the COBRA broker website “wizards.”

Disclaimer: If there is a group that is no longer contracted with your agency, please let Alerus know IMMEDIATELY so that we can remove them from your access. It is the responsibility of the broker/agent to let Alerus know when these changes take place. Broker access may be revoked should this process not be followed.

Please note, that our system is a live system. If you begin to enter data and realize you do not have enough to complete the record, you must completely cancel out otherwise the system will generate a notice based on what has been entered thus far.

Entering a New Plan Member/New Hire (NPM)

  1. 1

    From the wizard’s tab, choose the NPM wizard and choose the client name and division name as necessary.

  2. 2

    Enter the member’s first name, last name, and SSN.

  3. 3

    If this member is enrolling their spouse on any COBRA-eligible plans, enter the spouse’s name in the Address field, and enter the physical/mailing address in the Address2

    • If there is no spouse, or the spouse is not enrolling in benefits, the physical/mailing address will go in the Address field. If the member adds a spouse to their coverage later, the spouse should receive their own separate notice when they first become covered.
  4. 4

    Enter city, state (abbreviation), and ZIP.

  5. 5

    If there are enrolled children or other dependents, please select the box for Use ‘& Family’ addressing for mailings. If no other dependents are enrolled, leave the box unchecked.

  6. 6

    The Send General Rights letter when finished box will be defaulted to checked; leave as is.

  7. 7

    Check the Has waived all coverage box if they have so they receive their waiver letter.

  8. 8

    Do not check the Do you want to enter HIPAA Certification information.

  9. 9

    Click Finish when you have completed the record.

Entering a Qualified Beneficiary (QB)

  1. 1

    From the wizard’s tab, choose the QB wizard, and choose the client name and division name as necessary.

  2. 2

    Follow the prompts as necessary through the tabs of the QB wizard.

    • Items boxed in red are required.
    • NOTE: The Employee Information box and the QB Setup box can be left default as is.
  3. 3

    Click Next to navigate through the tabs.

  4. 4

    On the Qualifying Event Information tab, the system will default to “Employee.”

    • If you are reporting a dependent qualifying event (e.g., ineligible dependent, divorce, death) select the “Dependent” button.
    • NOTE: In this situation, the QB would be the “Ineligible Dependent,” “Divorced Spouse of the Employee,” or “Surviving Widow/Child of the Employee.”
  5. 5

    On the Plans tab, click the green plus sign to add all plans that the QB was eligible for at the time of their event. You will need to select the proper coverage level as well.

    • NOTE: For groups that are subject to MN Life Continuation, you will have to add the life plans as necessary. Most life plans are built as units based, meaning you will need to manually enter the value of the policy. The system is built per $1,000 units, so a $50,000 employee voluntary life policy would have 50 units of coverage.
  6. 6

    Click Next when all plans and coverage levels have been selected/entered as needed.

  7. 7

    If the QB had dependents covered at the time of the event you will need to add them to the Dependents tab.

    • IMPORTANT: Even though not all fields are highlighted in red in this section, dependent information is EXTREMELY important. Alerus will need a name, gender, DOB, and SSN for each eligible dependent. Missing information may result in an incorrect rate or notice that Alerus is not responsible for.
  8. 8

    Once you enter the demographic information for the dependent, be sure to add the plans that are available to the dependent record and click Save.

  9. 9

    You’ll be asked to click Save again to confirm all plans have been added.

  10. 10

    If the client is subsidizing the COBRA monthly premium, you would enter that information on the next screen.

    • The subsidy refers to how much, THE EMPLOYER will be picking up on behalf of the member.
    • Click Add Subsidy Schedule. The date will default to today’s date — be sure to adjust both start and end date according to the subsidy/severance agreement.
    • The Subsidy Schedule Type will always be “Employer Subsidy.”
    • Subsidies can be added as a flat dollar amount, or as a percentage of the full COBRA premium.
    • Be sure the insurance type in this screen matches how the insurance type is called in the in the plan setup up. If you are unsure of the insurance type for a plan, you can hit the Previous button to go back to the Plan Add screen.
    • Once everything looks good, click Add to finalize the subsidy for this benefit. Repeat for each benefit that will have a subsidy. Once all the subsidies have been added, click Save & Continue to proceed to Letter Inserts.
  11. 11

    Letter Inserts

    • All required federal COBRA language is already automatically included in all COBRA notices. Required language for Minnesota is also automatically included for all Minnesota employers. DO NOT ADD ANY LETTER INSERTS FOR MINNESOTA.
  12. 12

    Click the Finish button when the information is complete.

Important Information Regarding the Employer's Responsibilities

  • All qualifying events must be reported to Alerus via the web, by emailing the event notification form to, or by faxing the event notification form to 866.808.7821  within 14 days of the specific qualifying event or after the loss of coverage.
  • Audit your carrier premium billings each month to ensure that all members have been added to, changed within, or removed from your insurance carrier premium billing within 60 days. Alerus is not responsible for premium billing discrepancies beyond 60 days for adjustments.
  • Please confirm whether the current carrier (or a new carrier, if you changed carriers during renewal) requires you to complete additional paperwork regarding COBRA/MN Life continuation.
  • New rates must be received in our office at least 30 days prior to the renewal date to assure timely implementation. Alerus will not back-bill qualified beneficiaries for premium rate increases when the rates are received in our office after the renewal date. Premium deficiencies due to late rate notices are the responsibility of the employer.
  • Alerus will reinstate COBRA continuants on coverage when all forms and payments have been received. Remittance to employers of collected premiums will follow within 10 business days of the previous month’s closing.

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