Oral COBRA Notice OK?

In a recent District Court opinion, a judge dismissed a COBRA claim against an employer based on the oral notice the employer gave a former employee of her right to continue coverage under COBRA. The court said that the statute does not specify the form the notice must take and the employer’s oral notification was sufficient.

While the statute does not specify the form that notice must take, the Department of Labor (DOL) has issued comprehensive regulations regarding COBRA notices that require employers to give COBRA qualified beneficiaries extensive written notice of their rights to continue coverage. In light of those regulations, employers are well advised to continue providing written COBRA notices in accordance with those DOL regulations.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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