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COBRA Handbook, 2019 Edition by Roberta Karen Chevlowe Proskauer Rose LLP ,Ira M. Golub Proskauer Rose LLP COBRA Handbook, 2019 Edition by Roberta Karen Chevlowe Proskauer Rose LLP ,Ira M. Golub Proskauer Rose LLP

COBRA Handbook, 2021 Edition

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COBRA Handbook provides health plan sponsors, administrators, service providers, fiduciaries, attorneys, and other benefits professionals with comprehensive, up-to-date coverage of the complex issues involved in complying with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA). In addition to detailed guidance and commentary, COBRA Handbook includes examples, model language, and references to relevant statutory, regulatory, and case law.

The 2021 Edition of COBRA Handbook includes updated case law and discussions regarding the following issues:

  • DOL and IRS guidance extending various COBRA deadlines due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • COBRA's notification requirements, including the content of the required notices
  • Relief for COBRA violations
  • Which entities may be held liable for COBRA violations
  • “Standing” to bring a lawsuit for a COBRA violation
  • Preemption of state law claims premised on COBRA violations

Note: Online subscriptions are for three-month periods.

Previous Edition: COBRA Handbook, 2020 Edition ISBN 9781543810929

Pages 616
Last Updated 06/01/2021
Update Frequency Annually
Product Line Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.
ISBN 9781543824605
SKU 10083620-7777
Publish Frequency Annually
Product Line Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.
SKU 000000000010073213
Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Overview






Covered Group Health Plans



Covered Employers



Eligibility for COBRA Coverage



What Is COBRA Coverage?






COBRA Premiums



COBRA Enforcement, Penalties, and Remedies



Multiemployer Group Health Plans



Medicare and Its Relationship to COBRA



COBRA Issues in Mergers and Acquisitions



ERISA Preemption: State Continuation Coverage Laws and State Law Claims



Coordination of COBRA and Other Health Benefits

Chapter 2 Covered Group Health Plans



General Rule



“Maintained” by an Employer or Employee Organization



Definition of Group Health Plan



Number of Group Health Plans



Cafeteria Plans and Flexible Spending Accounts



Health Reimbursement Arrangements and Health Savings Accounts



Employee Assistance Programs



Medical Savings Accounts



Long-Term Care Plans



Executive Physical Examination Programs



Health Maintenance Organizations



Self-Insured Plans



Contributory and Noncontributory Plans



Voluntary Employees' Beneficiary Associations



Collectively Bargained Plans



Multiemployer Plans



Multiple-Employer Welfare Arrangements

Chapter 3 Covered Employers



General Rule



Who Is the Employer Responsible for Providing COBRA Coverage?



Exempt Employers: Small Employers



Exempt Employers: Government Employers



Exempt Employers: Church Plans

Chapter 4 Eligibility for COBRA Coverage






Who Is Eligible for COBRA Coverage?



Which Events Trigger COBRA Eligibility?



When Is Group Health Plan Coverage Lost?

Chapter 5 What Is COBRA Coverage?



The Concept of Continuing Coverage Under COBRA



What Level of Benefits Must Be Continued?



Rights of Qualified Beneficiaries



How Long COBRA Coverage Must Last



Termination of COBRA Coverage Prior to the End of the Maximum Coverage Period



Coverage During the COBRA Election Period and Premium Payment Grace Period

Chapter 6 Administration



Required COBRA Notices



Content of COBRA Notices



When a Qualifying Event Occurs: Who Must Notify Whom?



Providing COBRA Notices



Receipt of COBRA Notice



The Election Period



Electing or Waiving COBRA Coverage

Chapter 7 COBRA Premiums



Calculation of COBRA Premiums



Timing and Method of Premium Payments



Who Makes the Premium Payments?



Erroneous Acceptance of COBRA Premium Payments



COBRA Premium Payments Under the Trade Act of 2002



The ARRA Premium Subsidy

Chapter 8 COBRA Enforcement, Penalties, and Remedies



Overview of COBRA Remedies and Sanctions



Division of Enforcement Authority



Tax Penalty for COBRA Violations: Current Rule



ERISA Penalty for Failure to Issue COBRA Notices



Fiduciary Liability Under ERISA



Civil and Criminal Liability Under ERISA



Enforcement Actions Under ERISA



COBRA Violations Under the Public Health Service Act



Violations of the Continuation Coverage Provisions in the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment  Rights Act

Chapter 9 Multiemployer Group Health Plans



What Constitutes a Multiemployer Plan?



The Operation of Multiemployer Plans



Which Entity Is Responsible for Providing Continuation Coverage Under a Multiemployer Plan When an Employer Ceases to Contribute to the Plan?



Special COBRA Notice Rules for Multiemployer Group Health Plans



Miscellaneous COBRA Rules Affecting Multiemployer Plans



Application of COBRA Excise Tax Penalty Provisions to Multiemployer Plans



Other Penalties Applicable to Multiemployer Plans




Chapter 10 Medicare and Its Relationship to COBRA



What Is Medicare?



What Does Entitled to Medicare Mean?



Effect of Medicare (or Medicaid) Entitlement on Eligibility for COBRA Coverage



Medicare Entitlement as a COBRA Qualifying Event



Medicare Entitlement as a COBRA Terminating Event



Coordination of COBRA Coverage and Medicare

Chapter 11 COBRA Issues in Mergers and Acquisitions



In General



Stock and Asset Transactions



COBRA Provisions in Purchase Agreements



Issues Created by the Final M&A Regulations



Small-Employer Exception to COBRA

Chapter 12 ERISA Preemption: State Continuation  Coverage Laws and State Law Claims



Federal and State Law



What Is ERISA Preemption?



Why Is ERISA Preemption Significant?



Determining Whether a State Law Relates to ERISA Plans



Determining Whether a State Law Is Exempt from Preemption Because It Regulates the Business of Insurance



Determining Whether ERISA's Deemer Clause Causes a State Insurance Law to Be Preempted from Applying to  Self-Insured Plans



Applicability of State Continuation Coverage Laws to  ERISA-Covered Plans



Integrating State Law and COBRA Continuation Coverage Requirements



ERISA Preemption of State-Law Claims Related to  COBRA Violations

Chapter 13 Coordination of COBRA Coverage and  Other Health Benefits



General COB Principles



How Do COB Rules Relate to COBRA Coverage?



COB Model Regulation



Coordination of Group Health Plan Coverage with Medicare

Appendix A Regulations



2004 DOL Final COBRA Regulations



2001 IRS Final COBRA Regulations



1999 IRS Final COBRA Regulations

Appendix B Model Notices




Model COBRA Continuation Coverage General Notice



Model COBRA Continuation Coverage Election Notice


Internal Revenue Code Sections

IRS Announcements, Notices, Revenue Rulings, Revenue Procedures, and Letter Rulings

Treasury Regulations Sections

ERISA Sections, Releases, and Advisory Opinion Letters

DOL Regulations and Advisory Opinion Letters

Relevant Statutory Provisions, Regulations, and Other Pronouncements

Table of Cases

COBRA Cases by Issue



About The Experts