COBRA Frequently Asked Questions 

Have a question? Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive from members about the COBRA.


What is Surency COBRA?

Surency COBRA is a COBRA billing and eligibility reporting company. Surency manages COBRA notices and enrollment and premium collection processes for employers.

Is Surency an insurance carrier or health care plan?

Surency is NOT an insurance or health care plan and cannot answer benefit or claim questions. Questions regarding plan coverage or health claims should be directed to your insurance/health care plan(s).

When I send my COBRA premium to Surency, what do you do with it?

Surency collects premiums on behalf of your previous employer. All premiums collected are forwarded to your previous employer just as if you had paid them directly.

How long after Surency receives my premium is my insurance/health plan notified?

Surency usually reports your payment to your insurance or health plan within 1 week of receiving your payment.

How long after Surency reports my premium payment will I be able to use my insurance/health plan?

After we notify your insurance or health care plan that we have received your payment, it may take a week or more for them to “turn on” your coverage again. For this reason, we recommend mailing your payment 2 weeks or more before the due date whenever possible. 

What if I need to obtain a prescription or otherwise access health care while I am waiting for the insurance or health plan to re-activate my coverage?

If you are properly enrolled and have made a timely payment, your coverage will be “turned on” retroactive to the first day of the month for which you paid. Until then, the insurance/health plan may report you as “not covered” or “waiting for payment”.

If you need to access health care in the meantime, you may need to pay out-of-pocket for your care and then submit a claim for reimbursement to your health plan (not to Surency) after your coverage is re-activated.

I am enrolled in COBRA and have paid for previous months. Why can’t I access my coverage until I pay for the current month?

COBRA law requires that your payments be current before obtaining coverage. Your insurance or health plan will not re-activate your coverage until Surency has reported that we have received your payment.

How soon do I need to make a decision regarding continuation of my health care, and/or dental, vision, FSA coverage?

You have 60 days from the date of your COBRA notice (or from the date your coverage as an active plan participant ends, if later) to elect COBRA coverage. If you do not mail a completed enrollment form within this time period, all COBRA rights will end.

How long do I have to pay premiums?

Your first premium should be submitted along with your enrollment form in order to complete the enrollment process. However, you have up to 45 days after mailing the enrollment form to mail your first premium.

After you make your initial payment, your future premiums will be due on the first of each month. COBRA law provides a 30 day grace period for these payments, but we recommend that you mail your payment well before the due date.

Will I be able to change my current health or dental coverage?

At your initial enrollment in COBRA, you may drop dependents that were previously covered but you may not change the plan in which you are participating (i.e., PPO, HMO, indemnity plan, etc.) unless you relocate to an area where your current plan is not available.

Only dependents that were covered under your “active coverage” may participate in COBRA. You are not allowed to add dependents to COBRA that were not covered when you were an “active” plan participant.

Each year during the open enrollment period, you may be able to change the plan in which you are participating.  

You are allowed to drop a plan or dependent at any time during your continuation period. To drop a plan at initial COBRA enrollment, cross through the plan description on the enrollment form and write “decline” next to the plan you have crossed out prior to mailing.

What is the “Premium Computation Form” in my COBRA enrollment package?

This form is designed to show you how much premium you must pay to bring your coverage “current”. Your initial payment for COBRA coverage should include all premiums due from the date your “active” coverage ends through the date you make your initial payment.

How do I add a new baby to my COBRA coverage?

A new baby is NOT automatically added to your COBRA coverage. You must notify Surency in writing within 30 days of the birth or adoption of the child. Failure to do so may result in your new child NOT being covered under COBRA.

How do I report a change of address?

All address changes must be submitted in writing. If you move out of the service area for your health plan, you may be moved to a different health plan with a service area covering your new address. 

If I become covered under another group plan, may I continue my COBRA coverage?

No. Once you become covered under another group plan your COBRA coverage will end. COBRA is designed to provide “interim” or “gap” coverage until you enroll in a new health plan.

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?

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