If an employee is out on an unpaid leave of absence, a company will typically allow the employee to continue to submit the employee portion of the premium and remain on benefits without interruption. Below are two options on how to manage the employee on an unpaid LOA. Regardless of which method is selected, it is wise to review your carrier retro rules for termination and set clear payment deadlines for the LOA employee. If premium payments are not received in a timely manner you will want to be sure that coverage is terminated in a timely manner in order to avoid the carrier rejecting a request to retroactively terminate coverage.
Leave the employee and benefits as "active" and collect premiums from employee while on leave. Benefits remain intact without interruption and when the employee returns from leave there is no further action necessary.
Leave the employee as "active" but end benefits with a COBRA qualifying reason. Selecting a COBRA qualifying life event will allow the HR to manage the benefits via the COBRA tool. HR would use the tool and immediately enroll the employee and applicable family members in COBRA. This option allows benefits to remain intact with no interruption in coverage. The “paid through” feature on this option also allows for the HR to track the current paid through date directly on the employee’s account. NOTE: When the employee resumes working, coverage under COBRA will need to be ended and the benefits picked back up with new effective date.