Employers have certain COBRA coverage responsibilities to their employees. They need to comply with requirements regarding notification and they are subject to penalties should they not fulfil them. If you have recently lost a job that provided you with health insurance, and you are now eligible for COBRA coverage – or have been in the past – you might find the following information very useful, and should get in touch with a COBRA lawyer as soon as possible.
What is COBRA?
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) enables employees who experience a job loss or reduction in earnings to continue their employer-offered medical insurance under most circumstances.
How does it affect you and your employer?
An employer is obligated to provide COBRA coverage to qualified employees and their dependents, if they offer a group health plan. An employee becomes eligible for COBRA if they leave their job for any reason other than gross misconduct. When an employee becomes eligible for COBRA, the employer must notify the insurer or plan administrator 30 days before this comes into effect (60 days if a dependents will also be affected). The employer then has 14 days to notify the employee.
What happens if employers do not comply?
Should employers fail to comply with the notification requirements, they can face tax penalties, fines and civil liability. An excise tax of up to $200 per day may be assessed, as well as statutory penalties of up to $110 per day. You, as the affected employee, may also be entitled to sue the employer for financial compensation.
If you are a former employee who has suffered damages as a result of your ex-employer’s failure to comply with their COBRA coverage obligations, speak to a COBRA attorney at Shamis & Gentile, P.A.. Contact us for more information.