Recently, the Obama administration announced updates to model notices notifying workers of their eligibility to continue health-care coverage through COBRA. The updates are to inform workers they are eligible to purchase coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace or through a private insurance company directly.
Workers and their families who are eligible for employer-sponsored coverage generally must be informed of their right to COBRA continuation coverage at the start of employment. They must also be informed of their right to purchase COBRA coverage when separating from a job. The proposed changes to the model notices would offer information on more affordable options available through the Marketplace, where workers and families may be eligible for financial assistance that would not otherwise be available for COBRA continuation coverage. In most cases, workers and their families eligible for, but not enrolled in, COBRA continuation coverage would be able to enroll in Marketplace coverage outside of the normal open enrollment period.
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