*Special HR Alert - DOL Proposes Changes to Model COBRA Notices; Extends Marketplace Enrollment for Certain COBRA Beneficiaries

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The Department of Labor has proposed updated COBRA model notices which clarify that those eligible for COBRA continuation may choose instead to purchase coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.  The proposed changes to the model notices offer information on options available through the Marketplace, where qualified beneficiaries may be eligible for financial assistance that would not otherwise be available for COBRA continuation coverage.  The model notices are available here - Proposed Model General Notice and Proposed Model Election Notice (see attachments below).

The Department of Health and Human Services is also extending a special enrollment period, through July 1, 2014, to individuals already enrolled in COBRA, to access plans in the Federally-facilitated Marketplace, which includes New Jersey.  Employers are free to notify COBRA participants of the Marketplace.