Court Signs Off on $1 Million Settlement Resolving COBRA Class Action Case

A federal district court has approved a $1 million settlement agreement that, in the court’s words, “appears to be among the largest, if not the largest, average per person recovery in a certified class action asserting COBRA claims.” The settlement resolves a class action lawsuit alleging that an employer/plan administrator violated COBRA’s notice and premium […]

Court Approves $1M Settlement in COBRA Class Action Lawsuit

A federal district court gave preliminary approval to a $1 million settlement agreement that would resolve a class action lawsuit alleging that an employer/plan administrator, in farming out its employees to clients, violated COBRA’s initial and election notice rules, as well as its  premium subsidy rules. The settlement would consist of a $375,000 payout to […]

Check Over This Employee Handbook Checklist

Yesterday, attorney Marc Jacuzzi laid out pitfalls in employee handbook writing, and the challenges handbooks and at-will statements may face. Jacuzzi is a shareholder at Simpson, Garrity, Innes & Jacuzzi, P.C., in South San Francisco. Today, Jacuzzi offers his detailed handbook checklist―compare it against your handbook to see how you stack up.

$1.3M Settlement in COBRA/ARRA Class Action Now Final

On April 23, a federal district court in Alabama gave final approval to a settlement agreement under which an employer and plan administrator will pay $1.3 million to a group of former employees who alleged they never received COBRA election or premium subsidy information after their involuntary termination of employment.  The case is Hornsby v. […]

Court OKs $1.3M Settlement in COBRA/ARRA Class Action

Although it admitted no wrongdoing, an employer and plan administrator agreed to pay a $1.3 million settlement to a group of former employees who alleged they never received COBRA election or premium subsidy information after their involuntary termination of employment in 2010. In addition to COBRA and premium subsidy notice claims, they also sued the […]

COBRA and ARRA Rules Misread in Slapping Employer with $500 Notice Penalty

Here’s one positive pattern in COBRA coverage lawsuits: Even if a plan administrator violated the COBRA law, if it acts reasonably under the circumstances, courts are inclined to mitigate the amount of any penalties. But even though the law is more than 25 years old, case law shows there’s still a learning curve about its […]

DOL Survey to Analyze COBRA Premium Subsidy Up-take

To fill in the knowledge gaps on how many individuals enrolled in the COBRA premium subsidy program — data that will be helpful in determining the program’s cost-effectiveness, who best benefited from the subsidy and how to target similar programs — the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) plans to sponsor a study sometime in 2012. […]

COBRA’s Top 10: Law Used as Poster Child for the Problems With Government Jargon

It’s no surprise to most health plan administrators that the federal law on COBRA continuation coverage was used in a recent newspaper article as an example of “bureaucratic legalese.” In recounting efforts to push the “government to speak plainly,” the Dec. 2 Washington Post article said: If you want to understand Americans’ frustration with Washington, […]

Resuscitate COBRA Premium Subsidies to Help Unemployed, Commonwealth Fund Says

In the waning days of the COBRA premium subsidy, The Commonwealth Fund is calling for the program to be resuscitated as a way to help unemployed and uninsured workers until health care reform is fully implemented. In an Aug. 24 issue brief,  the Fund noted that “the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression has […]

Arrivederci to the ARRA Premium Subsidy Law, for the Most Part

This month technically marks the end of the last 18-month period of coverage for individuals who could take advantage of continuation coverage premium subsidies under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). But that doesn’t mean employers can just breathe a sigh of relief and wave off this law. Here’s a summary of […]