Overview: Group health plans sponsored by employers with 20 or more employees are required to comply with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). In general, COBRA provides continuation of health care coverage for employees and their beneficiaries who would otherwise lose coverage due to certain qualifying events.
Group health plans are required to provide workers and their families with a notice of their COBRA rights and are also required to have procedures in place for how COBRA coverage is offered, how coverage can be elected and how coverage can be terminated. Even though COBRA has been around for over 25 years, its confusing and complex requirements still result in frequent errors.
Some of the more common errors include:
Trends: In light of the US Supreme Court's decision striking down section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), employers must extend COBRA coverage to an employee's same-sex spouse if the couple lives in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage. The number of states that recognize same-sex marriage is continuing to grow, with rulings addressing the legality of same-sex marriage pending in several states.
Author: Tracy Morley, SPHR, Legal Editor
This chart summarizes state documentation requirements that an employer must provide upon an employee's separation from employment relating to unemployment compensation notices, mini-COBRA and other end-of-employment obligations.
Updated to include information on IRS relief for cafeteria plans.
The US Department of Labor has revised its model COBRA notices to provide additional information about COBRA's interaction with Medicare.
Updated to reflect updated model notices and FAQs.
The US Department of Labor has issued deadline relief and other guidance to aid employers, employee benefit plans, plan participants and other service providers affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
Employers can use this checklist to determine how they can leverage their benefits offerings to help employees through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
XpertHR's Legal Editor Jessica Webb-Ayer addresses the top benefits issues confronting employers in light of the pandemic and provide tools and insights on how HR can and must respond to its employees' most pressing concerns.
The Department of Labor (DOL) has updated its model Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) notices to include a new expiration date of January 1, 2023.
Under review in relation to the Supreme Court ruling on LGBTQ+ rights.
HR Guidance on complying with COBRA laws and regulations.