DOL Issues Recommended Changes To COBRA Election Notices To Provide Information About Health Care Exchanges

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The Department of Labor (DOL) recently revised the model COBRA election notice to include information regarding the health care exchanges and to eliminate references to exclusions for pre-existing conditions (since such exclusions will no longer be permitted effective January 1, 2014), among several changes. Although the DOL did not change the content requirements of the COBRA election notice, employers may find the revisions useful, especially with regard to the inclusion of information about the health care exchanges.  For example, current or former employees who are eligible to elect COBRA may prefer to elect coverage on the health care exchanges and decline continuing their coverage in the employer's plan through COBRA. Employers should review their COBRA election notices and COBRA general notices and consider revising such notices to reflect the new guidance provided by the DOL. The DOL provided a copy of the model COBRA election notice in redline format illustrating the changes made to the notice.
 

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