DoL Corrects COBRA Guidance

June 23, 2004 ( - The Department of Labor (DoL) has issued two technical corrections to its previously published guidance on notice requirements of the health care continuation coverage in COBRA.

The changes include:

  • Paragraph (d) of Section 2590.606-2, which permits delivery of a single notice addressed to a covered employee and the covered employee’s spouse at their joint residence, provided that the plan’s latest information indicates that both reside at that address.

Paragraph (d) states, on page 30097, that “nothing in this section shall be construed to create a requirement to provide a separate notice to dependent children who share a residence with a covered employer or a covered employee’s spouse to whom notice is provided in accordance with this section.” The term “covered employer” in this sentence should instead be “covered employee.”

  • In an appendix to Section 2590.606-4, the DoL also published a Model COBRA Continuation Coverage Election Notice for use by single-employer group health plans.

The section of the model notice entitled “Important Information About Your COBRA Continuation Coverage Rights” indicates, on page 30108, that continuation coverage will be terminated before the end of the maximum period if, among other things, “a covered employee becomes entitled to Medicare benefits (under part A, Part B, or both) after electing continuation coverage.” The term “covered employee” on this page should be changed to “qualified beneficiary.”

The corrections were published in the  Federal Register today.