The Employee Benefits Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has updated its model notices that inform workers of their eligibility to continue healthcare coverage through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (“COBRA”). The updates, announced May 2, are intended to clarify to workers that, if they are eligible for COBRA continuation coverage when leaving a job, they may instead choose to purchase coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act. Click here for the revised Model COBRA Continuation Coverage General Notice and instructions. Click here for the revised Model COBRA Continuation Coverage Election Notice and instructions.
At the same time, DOL issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to update regulations addressing the COBRA model notices. Until rulemaking is finalized and effective, DOL will consider use of the model notices available on its website, appropriately completed, to constitute compliance with the notice content requirements of COBRA.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) also announced a special enrollment period for people who are already purchasing COBRA coverage and may not have known about the option to instead get coverage through the Marketplace. HHS published a bulletin on the matter here.
DOL, HHS, and the U.S. Department of Treasury jointly published frequently asked questions about Affordable Care Act implementation also on May 2. Click here to access.
For more information about COBRA, visit AGC’s online Labor & HR Topical Resources library, and select the main category “Compensation” and subcategory “COBRA.” For more information about the Affordable Care Act, select the main category “Other HR Issues” and subcategory “Health Care Reform.” See also the related article “ACA Regulatory Updates Prompt New AGC Webinar.”