Tag: qualified beneficiary

COBRA

COBRA Continuation Coverage: Who Pays?

Most employers are aware that the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) requires group health plans sponsored by covered employers to allow qualified beneficiaries to have “COBRA continuation coverage” in the event that they lose group health plan coverage for specified reasons.

COBRA

Employer Faces Class-Action Lawsuit Because of Vague Language in COBRA Notice

In addition to making sure Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) election notices are sent to qualified beneficiaries on a timely basis, employers and plan administrators should ensure that the notices’ content satisfies the COBRA regulations. They should consider using the model COBRA election notice published by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), which considers […]

Ask the Expert: Do We Have to Offer Our HRA with COBRA Benefits?

Question: If you offer a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) to your regular full time employees, are you obligated to offer the HRA to people that terminate and elect COBRA? If yes, can you charge the employee for the COBRA premium AND can you charge for a premium equivalent rate for the HRA (or administrative charge)?

COBRA

Ask the Expert: COBRA Quandary

Question: I just found out that a former employee near the end of his COBRA election period was in an accident and is currently incapacitated. What are my options administratively if the election period ends and he has not yet elected COBRA coverage?

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 […]

GAO Recommends New Destinations for Forced 401(k) Transfers

Distributing abandoned small accounts in the 401(k) plans of participants who have left the company is a necessary evil for plan sponsors, to keep the plan focused on managing larger, active holdings and controlling costs. Despite the benefits for the plan that this form of housekeeping provides, results from these “forced transfers” may be less […]

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, […]

Plan Sponsors Must Require More from Managed Account Providers, GAO

More needs to be known about managed account services for retirement plan participants and the role employer plan sponsors play in offering them, according to a report released on July 29 by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Because these services differ from investment options provided within 401(k) plans, yet can serve as a qualified default […]

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, […]