U.S. Department of Labor Announces New Model COBRA and CHIP Notices


All Employers offering single employer health plans with 20 or more employees


May 2, 2014


Contact HR On-Call

(888) 378-2456

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced updates to model notices that employers, who offer single employer health plans under federal guidelines and have twenty or more employees, must provide to their employees who receive health care benefits. These include a notice provided at the start of employment and a notice at the end of employment, informing employees of their eligibility to continue and later purchase, health insurance coverage through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).

Both COBRA notices were updated to include language informing employees that if they are eligible for COBRA benefits, they may choose instead to purchase coverage through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace offered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Separated employees may be offered more affordable health care coverage options, and be eligible for financial assistance, by choosing coverage through the Marketplace to provide similar special enrollment periods for COBRA participants.

In addition to model COBRA notices, the DOL has also released an updated model notice regarding premium assistance under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Effective May 2, 2014:

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has established a special enrollment period allowing COBRA participants, who are deemed eligible, in states covered by the federal facilitated Marketplace, until July 1, 2014 to drop COBRA coverage and enroll in a Marketplace health care option.

All Blue Rock new hire and separation packages purchased through ManagEase will have the updated COBRA notices included.


Action Items:

  1. HR On-Call subscribers should call (888) 378-2456 for assistance with COBRA guidelines, including additional state specific guidelines.
  2. Non-Blue Rock program members can download new COBRA notices at the Department of Labor’s website.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2014 ManagEase, Incorporated.

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