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COBRA: Managing Notices Triggered by Qualifying Events

Author: Jose M. Jara, Buck Consultants

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) provides for the continuation of health care coverage for employees and their beneficiaries who would otherwise lose coverage due to certain qualifying events. COBRA also requires group health plans to comply with specific notice requirements upon the occurrence of a qualifying event. This Legal Insight highlights areas of risk in complying with this obligation, and offers guidance on how to manage and document all the COBRA notice processes that flow from a qualifying event. Employers may outsource COBRA administration; however the burden is on the employer to ensure compliance with the law.