Notice of COBRA Coverage: It’s Not Just for Departing Employees
Generally speaking, when employees are making selections about health insurance it’s because they have recently been hired, and the last thing on the employer’s mind is when that employee will be leaving. But did you know that you must provide your employees with information about COBRA benefits at the time that employees ELECT health insurance coverage—not just when the employment relationship is ending? Employees and their spouses who elect health insurance should receive a “General COBRA Notice.” The following is a list of key requirements:
- The COBRA “General Notice,” often referred to as the “New Hire Notice,” outlines the Qualifying Events under which a Qualified Beneficiary (employee, spouse or dependent) could lose coverage and the Qualified Beneficiary's obligations regarding the same;
- The General Notice must be provided to covered employees (and their spouses) within 90 days from the date that the employee or spouse becomes covered under the plan; and
- The General Notice must include:
- Name of the plan and contact information
- General description of the plan’s COBRA provisions, including events that would disqualify the Qualified Beneficiaries from coverage
- Explanation of the Qualified Beneficiaries’ responsibility under COBRA for notifying the plan administrator of a qualifying event
- Information regarding the importance to keep updated contact information for Qualified Beneficiaries on record with the plan administrator
- Specific language that more information regarding your COBRA rights can be found in the Summary Plan Documents
If an employer does not provide this information to the Qualified Beneficiaries, and an event that disqualifies the Qualified Beneficiary from coverage occurs and they do not notify the employer and health insurance provider, the health insurance company may be in position to deny coverage. As a result, the employer may be required to pay the medical bills for the Qualified Beneficiary!
The postings on this blog were created for general informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or a solicitation to provide legal services. Although we attempt to ensure that the postings are complete, accurate, and current as of the time of publication, we assume no responsibility for their completeness, accuracy, or timeliness. The information in this blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional legal counsel.
This blog may contain links to independent third party websites and services, including social media. We provide these links for your convenience, and you access them at your own risk. We have no control over and do not monitor the content or policies (including privacy policies) of these third-party websites and have no responsibility for, and no liability with respect to, their content, accuracy, or reliability. Unless expressly stated, we do not endorse any of the linked websites or any product, service, or publication referenced herein or therein. We will remove a link to any site from this blog upon request of the linked entity.
We grant permission to readers to link to this blog so long as this blog is not misrepresented. This site is not sponsored or associated with any other site unless so identified.
If you wish for Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A., to consider representing you, please obtain contact information from the Contact Us area of this blog or go to the firm’s website at www.wilentz.com. One of our lawyers will be happy to discuss the possibility of representation with you. However, the authors of Wilentz blogs are licensed only in New Jersey and/or New York and do not wish to represent anyone who viewed this site in a state where the site fails to comply with all laws and ethical rules of that state.