Cobra Notice Changes

Date: 09/18/13
Author: Walter A. Tilley

Effective August 1, 2013, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) has provided new wording for the model COBRA Continuation Coverage Election Notice.  This notice is provided to a current or former employee who has a “qualifying event,” such as a termination of employment or reduction in hours that causes the employee to lose coverage under a group health plan.  The new language in the model COBRA Notice now includes information about the federal and state-run Marketplace Exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).

Although the Obama administration gave employers an additional year to comply with the mandates under the ACA, employers are still required to update their COBRA Continuation Coverage Election Notice to include information about the Exchanges.  The Exchanges will open beginning January 1, 2014, and DOL has determined that employees must be given information regarding the Exchanges as part of the COBRA Notice.

For many employers, the COBRA Notice is generated by the employer’s health plan administrator or by its medical insurer when they receive notice of a qualifying event; however,  employers should be aware of the new language in the Notice.  Those employers who provide their own COBRA Notice should consult with an employment lawyer for information on the changes to the COBRA Continuation Coverage Election Notice.

The employment law attorneys at Stock and Leader stand ready to help you with these changes and with other employment-related questions and issues.  Please feel free to contact us if we can be of any assistance to you.

Stock and Leader, Attorneys at Law

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