Tag: continuation coverage

Transportation Authority Immune from COBRA Claims Under PHSA, Court Finds

Technically, continuation coverage rules under the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) apply to employees of state and local governments. Often, however, the problem is one of enforcement. It is not always easy to prevail in a case alleging continuation coverage violations against a state or local government. One of those reasons could be “sovereign immunity”—a […]


Are You Making These Common COBRA Mistakes?

Everyone makes mistakes—but some mistakes are simply too costly to make. Especially when it comes to managing your workforce. Neither are Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) penalties or U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) lawsuits, so how can an organization incur such liabilities? Through compliance violations when it comes to administering health insurance continuation under the […]

High Court Sees Problems in King Petitioners’ Arguments

Petitioners in King v. Burwell could run up against the same logic that brought down Medicaid expansion under health care reform: it could be unconstitutional for the federal government to use draconian coercion to force states to set up exchanges. Justice Anthony Kennedy emerged as a potential swing vote when he raised that Constitutional balance-of-powers question, which […]

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 […]

Employer Violated COBRA by Not Sending Notice After Reduction in Hours Hikes Premium

An employer/plan administrator erred by thinking that because it automatically kept employees covered under its health plan when their hours were reduced, there was no need to provide a COBRA election notice, a federal district court in Maryland ruled. The fact that the reduction in hours resulted in an increase in their premiums constituted a […]

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 […]

Verbal COBRA Notice Is Sufficient, Says Court in Ruling for Employer

In a decision that overlooked key COBRA guidance, a federal district court ruled that an employer/plan administrator fulfilled its notice obligation by verbally providing a notice of COBRA rights and accepting premium payments — which apparently the qualified beneficiary had to pay a few days after her employment termination. In dismissing a COBRA notice claim, […]

Employer Faces More Fees as 11th Circuit Affirms $126K COBRA Penalty Award

A federal appeals court not only affirmed a ruling that an employer/plan administrator must pay more than $126,000 in penalties and legal costs for intentionally violating COBRA notice requirements, it also held that about $2,460 in expenses excluded from the legal award should be revisited by the lower court. The case is Evans v. Books-A-Million, […]

Employer Faces State-law Claims After False Promise Causes Beneficiary to Skip COBRA Coverage

A former employee left with more than $13,000 in unpaid medical bills after his employer retroactively terminated his employment and health benefits can sue for state-law claims, a federal district court ruled. The individual alleged that while he was hospitalized, the employer said his expenses would be covered. Thus, he did not elect COBRA coverage. […]

Free Coverage for 11 Months Eliminates Need for COBRA Notice Penalties, Court Rules

Due to an administrative error, an employer clearly did not provide a qualified beneficiary with a COBRA election notice. However, the qualified beneficiary also benefited from that mistake by receiving 11 months of free health coverage. For that reason, a federal district court in Iowa rejected claims that the employer should be subject to COBRA […]