NU Online News Service, May 26, 2004, 11:15 p.m. EDT – The federal Employee Benefits Security Administration has published a final rule on health continuation coverage notices.[@@]
The rule affects employers who must offer departing employees and other health plan members continuation benefits to comply with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986.
The rule includes 4 model COBRA notices and sets minimum COBRA notification standards.
The final rule is a revision of a proposed regulation that EBSA published in May 2003.
Officially, the final rule applies only to notice obligations arising “on or after the first day of the first plan year beginning on or after the date that is 6 months after May 26,” EBSA officials write in a discussion of the final rule published today in the Federal Register.
But plan administrators already should be doing their best to use the proposed or final versions of the model COBRA notices, EBSA officials write.
EBSA officials received 41 public comments about COBRA notices while they were writing and revising the COBRA notice rule.
One decision by the revision team affects the general notice that goes out to employees and other beneficiaries who join a benefit plan.