Cobra Amendment / new notices question
Posted: 10 March 2009 10:37 AM   [ Ignore ]
New Member
Rank
Total Posts:  2
Joined  2008-03-04

Hello everyone,

Regarding the new COBRA due to the stimulus plan…...how do you notify the terminated employees and employees to be terminated in the future?  By adding an amendement to the current COBRA notices?
Any help would be apprciated.
Thank you

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 March 2009 12:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  18
Joined  2008-03-04

My understanding is that 3/19/09, the DOL is supposed to have a model notice that can be sent out.  Most companies I know are preparing their lists of termed employees, but are waiting until that notice comes out before contacting them.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 March 2009 12:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  8
Joined  2008-03-04

The DOL has been instructed to prepare a “model” employee notice within 30 days after enactment of the provision.  Employers have 60 days from enactment to notify all affected former employees (involuntary terminations or RIFs) who were separated on Sept. 1, 2008 or later.  For former employees to whom COBRA notices were already sent, a separate notice about the new subsidy will be required.  For those involuntarily terminated now through Dec. 1, 2009, an amendment to the existing COBRA notice will suffice.  The language in both the free-standing notice and the amendment to an employer’s current COBRA notice will be predominantly the same.  You can craft language now (have your employment counsel do it) to incorporate, or wait until the DOL publishes its “model” notice and use the DOL’s language.  Either way, you should start identifying those involuntarily terminated employees to whom the additional notice will need to be sent and, regardless of how quickly the DOL acts, be prepared to send the notices to all affected employees within 60 days after enactment of the provision.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 March 2009 01:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  17
Joined  2008-03-04

I am by no way an expert on this, however, during a seminar with my FSA/HRA/Cobra provider I have gathered the following.

That the DOL has been given until 3/19/09 to provide updated model notices that include all of the language required by ARRA. (American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009)

There are the Potential AEI’s (Assistance Eligible Individuals) and the Existing AEI’s. An existing AEI is an employee that is currently on Cobra. A Potential AEI is an employee that lost insurance coverage between 09-01-08 and 12-31-09 and either did not elect cobra or opted out of Cobra and now must be given a second chance.

The act contains several new notice requirements for employers. Until the DOL gets sample notices out the employers must change their existing notices to add the following information.

A) A notification shown in a clear manner that the recipient has the right to a subsidized premium and any conditions to the right.

B) A description of the extended election period for those employees who previously declined Cobra coverage

C) A notice stating the qualified recipient’s option to enroll in different coverage than what they had previously enrolled in under Cobra of such election is prmitted under the employer’s insurance plan. This means if the Dental and Medial and FSA are separate than they could take only one or the other if they wished. If you have PPO, HMO and different coverages they may now elect to select a different less expensive coverage option.

For the eligible employees terminated between September 1, 2008 and February 17, 2009 the modified notice must be provided on or before April 18, 2009.

The IRS website has information at the IRS.gov website on how to prepare the 941 forms .

http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=204709,00.html

Maybe someone else can add more, I am still learning about the new changes myself.

If I can help further please let me know.

Shirley

Shirley McAllister
Director of Human Resources
Aim International, Inc.
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

[ Edited: 10 March 2009 01:17 PM by Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 March 2009 01:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  7
Joined  2008-04-14

I recommend subscribing to this DOL website: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/COBRA.html

I am guessing the forms will be posted to that site when available.

 Signature 

Christopher W. Olmsted
Barker Olmsted & Barnier APLC
San Diego, CA

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 March 2009 01:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
New Member
Rank
Total Posts:  2
Joined  2008-03-04

Thanks so much for replying.  This helps.
Appreciate it.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 March 2009 02:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  12
Joined  2008-11-18

The DOL has until March 19, 2009, to publish model notices.  Here is a link to the DOL page that navigates through all the DOL information about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009:  http://www.dol.gov/recovery/ (you may need to type this address into your browser).  When the notice is ready, you’ll be able to find it through this page.


   
Barrie Grosss, Founder
Barrie Gross Consulting
(t/f)  415.673.8042
(c)  415.699.0404
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
http://www.barriegrossconsulting.com

 Signature 

Barrie Gross Consulting
(tel/fax)  415.673.8042
(cell)  415.699.0404
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
http://www.barriegrossconsulting.com

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 March 2009 04:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  8
Joined  2008-03-04

I would add my $0.02, but it appears that the preceding posts already cover everything that I would add.  Good work everyone.

 Signature 

—-
Tyson B. Snow
Manning Curtis Bradshaw & Bednar LLC
*Employment Discrimination Litigation
*Employment Law Counseling and Training

Martindale | LinkedIn | Twitter

Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 March 2009 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  20
Joined  2008-11-12

In light of the new model notices that have been provided by the Department of Labor, another question has crossed my desk:

Does anyone have any opinion as to whether, and in what conditions, electronic notice (i.e. email) will suffice to satisfy the notice requirements of the ARRA?

It would appear to me that in many cases email provides the safest, cheapest and most expedient way to ensure that eligible former employees receive notice.  After all, even when individuals move physical addresses, they commonly retain their email addresses.  The relevant section of the ARRA, H.R. 1, Sec. 2001(a)(7), at 344-346 appears to be silent on the issue.

I would appreciate all posters’ thoughts relative to this issue.

Jonathan F. Cohen, Esq.
APRUZZESE, McDERMOTT,
MASTRO & MURPHY,P.C.
Somerset Hills Corporate Center
25 Independence Boulevard
P.O. Box 112
Liberty Corner, NJ 07938
Tele: (908) 580-1776
Fax: (908) 647-1492
email:  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

[ Edited: 20 March 2009 12:19 PM by Jonathan F. Cohen ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 March 2009 01:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  17
Joined  2008-03-04

That is a good question for the ESBA people at the webcast. If you can attend, if you cannot let me know and I can ask it for you and get back with what they say.

The webcast is March 24, 2009 at 11:30 AM

[ Edited: 23 March 2009 04:11 PM by Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 March 2009 03:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  20
Joined  2008-11-12

Does anyone know whether an answer to the question regarding method of notice (i.e. electronic versus mailed) was addressed during Tuesday’s webcast? 

Thanks for your input.

Jonathan F. Cohen, Esq.
APRUZZESE, McDERMOTT,
MASTRO & MURPHY,P.C.
Somerset Hills Corporate Center
25 Independence Boulevard
P.O. Box 112
Liberty Corner, NJ 07938
Tele: (908) 580-1776
Fax: (908) 647-1492
email:  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

[ Edited: 26 March 2009 02:00 PM by Jonathan F. Cohen ]
Profile