Two Recent Updates to COBRA Forms and Information Available Online from the Department of Labor
(1) The Employee Benefits Security Administration has provided new examples of COBRA Notices to accommodate the recent changes created by the Temporary Extension Act of 2010.
The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has provided an updated sample set of notices to be sent to the various groups of involuntarily terminated workers when they are eligible for COBRA and/or ARRA subsidy benefits.
As we have stated in recent updates, the Temporary Extension Act of 2010 amended both the eligibility criteria for the COBRA subsidy and extended the eligibility deadline from February 28th, 2010 to March 31, 2010.
The sample notices are created for the utilization of group health plans and insurers as examples of what needs to be communicated and when to potential qualified beneficiaries of these benefits. They include the General Notice, the Alternative Notice, the Notice of New Election Period, the Supplemental Information Notice, and the Notice of Extended Election Period.
(2) The Department of Labor has updated their Web site with additional information on the ramifications and particulars of the Temporary Extension Act of 2010.
Updated information and new FAQs are available on a large array of subjects regarding both the extension of benefits and when a reduction of hours is followed by an involuntary termination. This includes new effective dates, durations of coverage, breach of coverage parameters, and regulatory mandates on communications to be sent.
While we do expect additional changes to the law to pass sometime in early April, WageWorks® is proud to say we are in full compliance with all of the recent notice requirement changes and communication updates on ARRA Extensions. We will continue to provide updates on all changes as they occur.
Further information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/COBRA.