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COBRA Updates for Employers on COVID-19 Relief Deadlines

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued new model notices for employers who offer group health insurance coverage. If you’re a group health plan administrator, you can use these guidelines to comply with COBRA notification requirements.

Although plan administrators are not required to use the updated model notices, the DOL generally considers their use—with the addition of appropriate plan information—to be good faith compliance with COBRA’s content requirements for:

  • The general notice of coverage continuation rights, which must be provided to each employee and spouse within 90 days of coverage.

  • The notice of a qualified beneficiary’s right to elect continued coverage, which must be provided within 14 days after receiving notice of a qualifying event.

The updated model notices aim to help qualified beneficiaries better understand the interactions between Medicare and COBRA. Additional details about Medicare and COBRA enrollment options are also included in the updated model notices.

The DOL and Treasury also issued deadline relief in view of the coronavirus outbreak. The deadlines have been extended as the original “Outbreak Period” is now disregarded. The Outbreak Period is the period of time from March 1, 2020, until 60 days after the announced end of the National Emergency (or such other date announced by the DOL and Treasury). The Outbreak Period cannot exceed one year.

More information

For more resources on health plan benefits and group coverage requirements during this season, contact the experts at NY Small Health today.

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