The following information is taken from the DOL Newsletter dated 5/8/14
The Employee Benefits Security Administration has updated its model notices that inform workers of their eligibility to continue healthcare coverage through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. The updates, announced May 2, make it clear to workers that if they are eligible for COBRA continuation coverage when leaving a job, they may choose to instead purchase coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 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.
Additional Information on COBRA from the DOL
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gives workers and their families who lose their health benefits the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by their group health plan for limited periods of time under certain circumstances such as voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in the hours worked, transition between jobs, death, divorce, and other life events. Qualified individuals may be required to pay the entire premium for coverage up to 102 percent of the cost to the plan.
COBRA generally requires that group health plans sponsored by employers with 20 or more employees in the prior year offer employees and their families the opportunity for a temporary extension of health coverage (called continuation coverage) in certain instances where coverage under the plan would otherwise end.
COBRA outlines how employees and family members may elect continuation coverage. It also requires employers and plans to provide notice.
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