Model COBRA Notices Published

On March 19, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published four model COBRA notices relating to the COBRA subsidy provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). These model notices require immediate attention by employers and their COBRA administrators.

Two key takeaways from these models are: All qualified beneficiaries (i.e., affected employees and their eligible dependents) who received COBRA notices on or after February 17, 2009 without the ARRA subsidy provisions must receive a new COBRA notice containing these provisions. The so-called Second Election Notice must be sent by April 18 to affected employees and their eligible dependents who lost coverage because of an involuntarily termination of employment between September 1, 2008 and February 16, 2009, and who either declined COBRA or dropped COBRA coverage.

Model Notices

General Notice (full version) – intended to be the primary model COBRA notice for individuals who have qualifying events between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009, and who receive their COBRA notice on or after February 17, 2009. See www.dol.gov/ebsa/COBRAgeneralnoticefullversion.doc.

General Notice (abbreviated version) – intended to be a supplemental notice about ARRA’s COBRA subsidy provisions for individuals who incurred a qualifying event between September 1, 2008 and February 16, 2009 and who have COBRA coverage.  www.dol.gov/ebsa/COBRAgeneralnoticeabbreviatedversion.doc.

Second Election (Extended Election Period) Notice – intended for individuals who lost coverage due to an involuntary termination between September 1, 2008 and February 16, 2009, and who declined or dropped COBRA coverage. See www.dol.gov/ebsa/COBRAextendedelectionperiodnotice.doc.

State Law Coverage Notice – intended to provide information to individuals whose plans are not subject to Federal COBRA (i.e., those with fewer than 20 employees), but whose state laws contain continuation coverage rights for small employers. See www.dol.gov/ebsa/COBRAalternativenotice.doc.

If you have questions, contact Robert L. Gross at (216) 839-1111 or rlgros[email protected].

 

 

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