Cobra Handbook, 2011 Edition

Front Cover
Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, Nov 5, 2010 - 616 pages
COBRA Handbook is designed for benefits professionals, plan administrators, employers, service providers, fiduciaries, attorneys, and others who must deal with the complexities of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 as amended (COBRA). The 2010 Edition reviews significant legal developments in the COBRA arena since the publication of the prior edition and discusses new judicial decisions issued during the past year. Highlights include detailed discussion in Chapter 8 of the federal government's COBRA premium subsidy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), as well as updated and extensive discussions of the following issues: What types of health plans are subject to COBRA? Under what circumstances will courts award penalties for COBRA violations and attorneys' fees to plaintiffs in COBRA cases? What damages are recoverable in COBRA actions? Who is liable for a COBRA violation? When and how must COBRA notices be provided? What information should be included in COBRA notices? When sending COBRA notices, what type of proof should be retained by employers and plan administrators? Under what circumstances does a COBRA qualifying event occur? What are the rights of qualified beneficiaries who are receiving COBRA coverage? The 2010 Edition of COBRA Handbook also reviews in detail the rules contained in the IRS and DOL regulations and offers guidance on how to comply with the various rules contained in the regulations. This edition also provides up-to-date coverage of the following specific issues: What type of proof is required to establish that a COBRA notice has been sent? When is a COBRA election considered to be timely made? May a plan accept a COBRA election that has been transmitted electronically? What constitutes termination due to "gross misconduct " for COBRA purposes? What are the COBRA rights of an employee aged 65 or over who terminates from active employment? Are participants in retiree medical plans eligible for COBRA coverage? What are the COBRA rights of an individual who is on FMLA leave? When must a plan make COBRA coverage available to an employee's ex-spouse? What happens if an employee fails to notify the plan of his or her divorce? What happens if a qualified beneficiary moves outside the region of a region-specific plan? Does COBRA apply to medical savings accounts and health reimbursement arrangements? Can individual health insurance policies constitute a group health plan for COBRA purposes? What are the COBRA obligations of a multi-employer health plan when a contributing employer withdraws from the plan? What disclosures should be made when health care providers inquire about a patient's coverage status before the patient has elected and paid for COBRA continuation coverage? Under what circumstances does ERISA preempt state continuation coverage laws? What remedies for COBRA violations are available under ERISA's civil enforcement provisions? Under what circumstances will courts typically award penalties and/or attorneys' fees in COBRA cases? What are the IRS rules governing COBRA responsibilities in mergers and acquisitions? In addition, COBRA Handbook includes the following features to help employers, other plan sponsors, administrators, and consultants in administrating and complying with this complicated and continuously developing area of the law: Examples illustrating important concepts Practice Pointers to help benefits professionals comply with COBRA Detailed case citations and notes to help th

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