By Laura Pokrzywa, HR Consultant, East Coast Risk Management
On May 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) issued revised COBRA model notices (both the general notice and the election notice), along with brief Frequently Asked Questions related to the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). Plan administrators can use these model notices to fulfill the requirement to notify plan participants and beneficiaries of their rights under COBRA and qualified beneficiaries of their rights to elect COBRA. The updates are designed to clarify the interactions between Medicare and COBRA.
According to U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia, the updates and the new FAQ “will help Medicare-eligible Americans make key decisions regarding their healthcare coverage.” Scalia added, “As many individuals face economic hardship related to coronavirus, the Department will continue to inform workers and help them avoid incurring unnecessary health costs.”
The new notices have an expiration date of 1/31/2023. Both are available on the DOL website in modifiable, electronic form. As with the earlier model notices, to use the model properly the plan administrator must complete it by filling in the blanks with the appropriate plan information. Both notices are available in Spanish, as well.
For more information on COBRA continuation coverage requirements applicable to group health plans sponsored by private-sector employers, see “An Employer’s Guide to Group Health Continuation Coverage Under COBRA.”
If you are an employer that has questions on any issue relating to human resources, safety, or workers’ compensation, contact East Coast Risk Management by calling 724-864-8745 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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