The Department of Labor has now posted model notices and corresponding instructions in their web site. You can access the notices and instructions by visiting http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/COBRAmodelnotice.html. For a more detailed explanation of the notification requirements, visit http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/2009-06131_PI.pdf.
Notice regarding the extended election period and the COBRA premium subsidy must be provided by April 18, 2009. This notice must be sent to any Assistance Eligible Individual (or any individual who would be an Assistance Eligible Individual if a COBRA continuation election were in effect) who: (1) had a qualifying event at any time from September 1, 2008, through February 16, 2009; and (2) either did not elect COBRA continuation coverage or elected it, but subsequently discontinued it.
If your plan will permit Assistance Eligible Individuals to elect to enroll in coverage that is different than the coverage the individual was enrolled in when the involuntary termination of employment occurred, the notice must include information about that option. Therefore, employers need to decide immediately whether Assistance Eligible Individuals will be permitted to elect to enroll in alternative coverage, in order to include that information in the notice.
If you have any questions regarding the content of this tip or the Recovery Act, please contact Blerina Kotori or Darcy Norville.