The Obama administration today announced updates to model notices informing workers of their eligibility to continue health-care coverage through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. The updates make it clear to workers that if they are eligible for COBRA continuation coverage when leaving a job, they may choose to instead purchase coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
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.