COBRA FAQ — When must qualified beneficiaries be notified?
Within 14 days after the plan administrator receives the notice of a qualifying event under COBRA, qualified beneficiaries must be notified of their right to elect continuation coverage.
The election notice must include:
- The name of the plan and the name address and telephone number of the plan's COBRA administrator;
- Identification of the qualifying event;
- Identification of the qualified beneficiaries (by name or by status);
- An explanation of the qualified beneficiaries' right to elect continuation coverage;
- The date cover will terminate (or has terminated) if continuation coverage is not elected;
- How to elect continuation coverage;
- What will happen if continuation coverage is available, for how long, and how it can extended for disability or second qualifying events;
- How continuation coverage might terminate early;
- Premium payment requirements; including due dates and grace periods;
- A statement of the importance of keeping the plan administrator informed of the addresses of qualified beneficiaries; and
- A statement that the election notice does not fully describe COBRA or the plan and that more information is available from the plan administrator and in the SPD.
A model election notice can be found on the U.S. Department of Labor website.
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