Recent Class Action Settlement Regarding COBRA NOtice Compliance

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Attention administrators of COBRA, take note of a recent class action settlement regarding COBRA compliance. As a refresher, COBRA law grants continuation rights for health coverage to individuals experiencing specific qualifying events. The law mandates various notice requirements to ensure individuals are well-informed about their entitlements.

In the case of Blessinger v. Wells Fargo & Company, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, Case No. 8:22-cv-1029-TPB-SPF, Plaintiffs allege that Defendant failed to provide a COBRA Notice that met standards. Plaintiffs argue that the Notice lacked clarity on how to elect COBRA continuation coverage, citing inaccurate threats of penalties and a lack of accessibility for the average participant.

A COBRA Notice is essential for former employees covered under an employer-sponsored group health plan, informing them of their right to continue coverage and the terms thereof.

The lesson here is to ensure COBRA notices are clear, accurate, and devoid of any aggressive language. Employers can use model forms provided by the Department of Labor, which should be customized to fit specific plans and protocols.

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