BRI COBRA Renewal & Open Enrollment

Here you’ll find helpful information and links about renewal for COBRA, Continuation, and Direct Billing in preparation for Open Enrollment.

Renewal & Open Enrollment Overview

There can be a lot of moving parts when it comes to preparing for successful renewal and Open Enrollment seasons. Here is an overview of a standard timeline and what to expect at each stage:

Step/Stage Action Items: Partner Action Items: BRI
Review & update the COBRA and Direct Billing plan account structure
Clients should submit all Open Enrollment documents together (rate & carrier sheet, plan description form, SBCs and summaries) once they are FULLY EXECUTED in our BRI templates.
Portal is updated for ongoing administration in the new plan year.
Update file vendor of new BRI account structure, if applicable
Provide the same plan names and coverage levels to your EDI file vendor that is sending member data for events. COBRA system and file vendor must match.
Open Enrollment Packets
Submit the Plan Description & Enrollment Changes form.
BRI creates passive or active enrollment packets for mailing.
Mailing Open Enrollment packets
Clients/brokers may be asked to preview a sample.
BRI mails all custom packets with corresponding instructions to members.
Processing enrollment & termination changes with applicable insurance carrier(s)
Review carrier invoice(s) monthly and inform BRI of any discrepancies. Member Status & Remittance reports are available on the employer & broker portals for download.
BRI sends notification to carrier(s) of all eligibility updates upon receipt of any changes from the members. This is done via secure email to the carrier contacts provided.
Update rate information to be sent to members
BRI sends updated coupons and the member portal rate tables are updated, as needed.

Forms & Resources

Carrier & Rate Information Sheet

Plan Description & Enrollment Changes Form

Carrier Assignment Form

Headcount Form

Document Deep Dives

Why Do We Need This?

This step is critical in ensuring that all account structure details are accurate in the administrative system for the new plan year. This form is also used to customize Open Enrollment packets, which are sent to anyone pending or enrolled in the COBRA platform.

Filling Out the Document: Tips & Tricks

  • The required information in this file is called the "account structure" and consists of the necessary information to update the COBRA portal with new plans, carrier, and rate information.
  • When specifying the rates, make sure you enter the raw monthly rate without the 2% administrative fee. Our system automatically adds the administrative fee.
  • Don't forget to provide updated contact information (phone number and email address) to send COBRA enrollments/terminations to for each of the carriers. This ensures that all eligibility changes can be successfully communicated by BRI.

Format & Submission Instructions

Partners must use the BRI Carrier & Rate Information sheet to provide the updated plan year information. Age-banded or ACA rates must be provided separately.

Note: scanned copies of PDFs will NOT be accepted.

Why Do We Need This?

As a third-party administrator, BRI needs to understand exactly what benefit changes are made so that we can effectively update system functionality for the new plan year.

This Form Will Ask:

  • Which plans are terminating?
  • What new plans are being offered (including plan name and group number)?
  • Is member enrollment passive or active?
  • Are Summary of Benefits & Coverages and Ancillary Benefit Summaries available to subscribers online?

Keep In Mind:

  • Participants will be instructed to contact their insurance carrier(s) for questions regarding coverage options and details.
  • BRI makes every attempt to provide a preview of Open Enrollment communications prior to prevent having to take corrective action after the mailing that may result in additional fees.

Why Do We Need This?

This form will ensure BRI's eligibility changes will be processed by the new carrier(s).

What You Need to Do

Complete for each new benefit carrier and submit directly to your carrier contacts.

This Form Will Ask For:

  • Your Insurance Carrier 
  • Group Number
  • Date that BRI has been assigned to assist with COBRA administration 

Keep In Mind
This form is only applicable if you are switching to a different insurance carrier for one or more of your plans.

What does “headcount” mean for BRI?

Headcount is looking for the Active Insured Employees that are participating in a medical, dental, vision, or other insurance plan with a group. Employees are counted only once for any instance of medical, dental or vision plan.

Why is this important?

This information will be used to calculate the monthly invoice amount in the new plan year. The monthly invoice can change when a new headcount is obtained or when the headcount increases or decreases by 10%. This is requested annually for BRI billing purposes.

Who do I send it to?

Please send to your dedicated COBRA administrator and cc:

BRI COBRA Management Portal

The BRI COBRA Management Portals make it easy for employers and brokers to manage their COBRA, Retiree, and Direct Bill continuation services with BRI. Access it now via single sign-on from BRIWEB.