Complying with COBRA’s Complex Requirements
COBRA is an employee’s right to continued health insurance coverage after they have an employment change. When an employee has a job change for almost any reason, they can elect to continue their current, employer-based insurance for a period of time. Both federal and Connecticut laws protect employees by allowing employees to continue to elect insurance coverage for a period of time after their employment changes.
COBRA stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). It’s a federal law that’s meant to help employees and their families soften the blow when their employment situation changes. Getting laid off, facing a reduction in work hours, a leave of absence or even getting fired can qualify an employee for benefits. The only way an employee doesn’t qualify is if they’re fired for gross misconduct that’s against the interest of the employer.
Employers should work with a Connecticut employment lawyer in order to make sure that they comply with COBRA’s many requirements. There are key differences between federal law and Connecticut law. For example, while federal law says that COBRA applies only to employers with 20 or more employees, Connecticut law expands coverage requirements to employers with fewer employees. It also expands the time that the employer must continue to provide coverage.
An employer may require the employee to pay the entire premium even if they subsidize the premium for active employees. Even though an employer may require the employee to pay the entire premium, they can’t raise the amount of the premium for just the employee. In addition, they must be careful to provide the exact same options for coverage as they provide for active employees. This might include prescription, dental and vision coverage. There are also important notice requirements.
Licari, Walsh & Sklaver, LLC can help you make sure that your organization stays in compliance with laws regarding employment in Connecticut. Their team of Connecticut employment lawyers can help identify issues before they have a chance to become a problem. Together, the legal team at Licari, Walsh & Sklaver, LLC can help you create a plan to navigate complex COBRA laws in order to run your business efficiently and effectively.