Benefits Bryan Cave

Benefits BCLP

Consoldated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA)

Main Content

Caution: Non-Compliant COBRA Election Notices may be Costly

December 14, 2016

Authors

Brian Berglund

Caution: Non-Compliant COBRA Election Notices may be Costly

December 14, 2016

by: Brian Berglund

Earlier this year, an employer was sued in a class action in Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida for violating the notice provisions of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) with respect to its COBRA election notice. Specifically, the employees alleged that the COBRA election notices provided by the employer did not include the information required by COBRA regulations. After failing to convince the court that the case should be dismissed, the employer agreed to establish a settlement fund for the affected employees and to correct the alleged deficiencies in its COBRA election notice. Since then, two similar lawsuits have been filed in Florida courts by employees who claim that the election notices provided by their respective employers were deficient and non-compliant with COBRA.

COBRA provides that

Read More

Check it Out and Check it Off: 2015 Group Health Plan Checklist

October 14, 2014

Authors

benefitsbclp

Check it Out and Check it Off: 2015 Group Health Plan Checklist

October 14, 2014

by: benefitsbclp

460326385With 2015 just around the corner, certain mandates under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended (“ACA”) are about to become effective. Health plans also have several existing enrollment and annual notice requirements. Below is a checklist of upcoming ACA mandates that employers must implement in preparation for or in 2015 and a summary of existing enrollment and annual notice requirements.

For a refresher on the ACA mandates which became effective this year, please see our 2014 group health plan checklist here.

I. ACA Requirements That Apply to All Group Health Plans (Whether Grandfathered or Not)

On or beginning with the dates specified below, a group health plan must comply with the following requirements, regardless of its status as a “grandfathered health plan”:

Obtain a Health Plan Identifier Number (HPID).

Read More

COBRA Participants: Act Quickly to Maximize Cost Savings with ACA Special Enrollment Opportunity

May 28, 2014

Authors

Lisa Van Fleet and Serena Yee

COBRA Participants: Act Quickly to Maximize Cost Savings with ACA Special Enrollment Opportunity

May 28, 2014

by: Lisa Van Fleet and Serena Yee

Health Insurance and MoneyIn a recent CMS Bulletin, the Department of Health & Human Services announced a one-time special enrollment period for individuals who are currently eligible for, or enrolled in, COBRA continuation coverage to enroll in qualified health plans in the Marketplace.  This special enrollment period applies to the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) and ends July 1, 2014.

A person eligible for, or enrolled in, COBRA coverage is generally permitted to enroll in the Marketplace only (i) when the person is initially eligible for COBRA or has exhausted his or her COBRA coverage rights, (ii) during annual open enrollment, or (iii) during some other special enrollment period.  This one-time special enrollment period allows eligible individuals in states that utilize the FFM to terminate their COBRA coverage and enroll in

Read More

Model Exchange Notice and Revised COBRA Election Form

May 20, 2013

Authors

Chris Rylands and Lisa Van Fleet

Model Exchange Notice and Revised COBRA Election Form

May 20, 2013

by: Chris Rylands and Lisa Van Fleet

As noted in our client alert, the DOL recently released guidance on the Exchange/Marketplace notice required to be issued to existing employees no later than October 1, 2013.  Followers of PPACA developments will recall that this notice was originally scheduled for distribution in March 2013, but was delayed at the last minute.  In connection with this guidance, the DOL also revised the model COBRA election notice.  Links to the DOL guidance and model documents are provided below.

The alert describes the requirements of the guidance, but the highlights are summarized below:

  • All employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act are required to provide this notice, regardless of whether they provide health coverage or not.  Generally, you’re subject if (i)  you employ one or more employees who are engaged in, or produce goods for, interstate commerce or (ii) you are a hospital; a resident care
    Read More
The attorneys of Bryan Cave LLP make this site available to you only for the educational purposes of imparting general information and a general understanding of the law. This site does not offer specific legal advice. Your use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Bryan Cave LLP or any of its attorneys. Do not use this site as a substitute for specific legal advice from a licensed attorney. Much of the information on this site is based upon preliminary discussions in the absence of definitive advice or policy statements and therefore may change as soon as more definitive advice is available. Please review our full disclaimer.