Model COBRA Election Notice Updated for ACA Changes

Legislative Brief

Many provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that become effective beginning in 2014 are designed to expand access to affordable health coverage. Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, individuals and employees of small businesses will have access to health coverage through ACA’s health insurance exchanges (Exchanges). According to the Department of Labor (DOL), the Exchanges will create competitive health insurance marketplaces where consumers can go to find and compare private health insurance options.

On May 8, 2013, the DOL issued Technical Release 2013-02. This Technical Release provides an updated model election notice for group health plans for purposes of the continuation coverage provisions under COBRA. The model COBRA election notice was updated to inform qualified beneficiaries of coverage options available through the Exchanges and other ACA reforms related to continuation coverage.

Plan sponsors should consider revising their COBRA election notices to include these ACA updates. When the Exchanges and premium tax credits go into effect in 2014, it is possible that fewer qualified beneficiaries will elect COBRA to obtain health coverage and this may result in a cost-savings for the employer-sponsored health plan.

Click Model COBRA Election Notice Updated for ACA Changes to learn more.

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