- Health Benefits Advisor for Employers
A written notice describing COBRA rights, which must be provided by the plan administrator to each covered employees and covered spouse within 90 days of their beginning coverage under the plan, or within 90 days of the plan becoming subject to COBRA. However, if a qualifying events occurs and you would be required to provide an election notice before the date the general notice is due, the general notice must be provided at the same time as the election notice. Among other things, the general notice must include a description of the COBRA coverage provided under the plan, who may become qualified beneficiaries, and the types of qualifying events that may give rise to the right to COBRA coverage.
The Department of Labor has developed a model general notice [Spanish] that is intended to assist plan administrators of single-employer group health plans in satisfying the general notice requirement. Use of this model notice is not mandatory. However, in order to use it, a plan administrator must appropriately add relevant information where indicated in the model notice, select among alternative language, and supplement the model notice to reflect applicable plan provisions. Items of information that are not applicable to a particular plan may be deleted. Use of the model general notice appropriately modified and supplemented, will be considered by the Department to satisfy the general notice content requirements of COBRA for single-employer group health plans.