The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 – abbreviated to COBRA – is a federal law that, among other things, requires all private-sector group health plans maintained by employers with 20 or more employees to offer temporary continuation of group health coverage in some situations where it would otherwise be terminated.
Terms and conditions
COBRA continuation coverage is offered only to qualified beneficiaries and only after a qualifying life event has occurred.
To be a qualified beneficiary, you must be an employee (active, terminated, or retired), agent, independent contractor, or director who was covered by the group health plan on the day before a qualifying event occurred or that employee’s spouse, former spouse, or dependent child.
A qualifying event is what leads you to qualify to lose health coverage under a group health plan, such as resignation, reduction of hours, termination for reasons other than gross misconduct, divorce, loss of dependent status, death of an employee, and an employee qualifying for medicare. The type of qualifying event will govern who the qualified beneficiaries are and how long they will be entitled to COBRA coverage.
Cobra notice procedures
COBRA emphasizes the need for employees to be informed of their right to continue benefits when a qualifying event occurs.
- You need to be notified of your initial rights under COBRA when you first join the plan.
- You must be notified of your election rights to continue coverage after a qualifying event occurs.
- The plan administrator or insurance company must be informed by your company within 30 days* of a qualified event. (Except divorce and change of status by a dependent which allow 60 days.)
- The administrator has 14 days after notice from your company to notify you of your COBRA coverage.
If you feel you were not able to make an informed decision about your rights because of a flawed or confusing COBRA notice from your employer, you should get in touch with a COBRA notice lawyer in Miami.
For more information on the deficient COBRA notice class-action lawsuit in Miami, FL and nationwide, contact Shamis & Gentile, P.A. today.