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COBRA and ERISA Coverage

Federal and state governments have enacted laws designed to protect employees by mandating ongoing coverage in certain situations, even after employment, and that health plans meet certain minimum requirements.  These rules and regulations are extremely complicated.  Attorney Mike Murburg has dedicated his practice to helping people like you understand your legal rights and options under these laws.

What is COBRA Coverage?

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (“COBRA”) is a federal law that may allow you to temporarily keep health coverage after your employment ends or if you lose coverage as a dependent of a covered employee.  If you elect COBRA coverage, you pay all premiums (including any share the employer had been previously to paying) plus a small administrative fee.  COBRA generally covers group health plans sponsored by medium to large size employers (20 or more employees).

You may qualify for COBRA coverage if certain “qualifying events” occur.  Qualifying events are events that would have otherwise caused you to lose your health coverage.  The type of qualifying event may impact your COBRA coverage, including the amount of time you will be covered by COBRA.  Qualifying events include:

  • The termination of your employment for any reason other than gross misconduct; or
  • A reduction in the number of hours of your employment.

The length of time you may have COBRA coverage depends on the type of qualifying event that gave rise to the COBRA coverage.  Generally, COBRA coverage will last for a period of 18 or 36 months.  A plan, however, may provide longer periods of coverage.

Certain events will also impact the ability of your spouse or child to be covered by COBRA.  These are complicated rules and it is best to have an experienced attorney review your coverage with you.

What is ERISA Coverage?

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) is a federal law that that sets minimum standards for certain types of health plans.  ERISA requires health plans to provide participants like you with:

  • Plan information (including information about plan features and funding);
  • Fiduciary responsibilities for those who manage plan assets;
  • a grievance and appeals process; and
  • The right to sue for benefits.

The term “fiduciary responsibility” or “fiduciary duty” refers to a standard of care that is owed to you by those who manage and have access to plan assets.  This standard of care is high and violations are taken very seriously.

If a plan fails in its responsibilities to you, then we can work with you through the grievance and appeals process.  If necessary, you have the right to sue for benefits and we can help in that process too.

Contact the legal team at Mike Murburg, PA today if you have any questions or concerns about ERISA coverage requirements.  These rules are very complex and it is important that you are properly protected.

Contacting Mike Murburg, PA

Call Mike Murburg, PA today at 877-774-2889 or online to discuss your COBRA or ERISA coverage issues.  Don’t wait, contact us today.   Let us clearly explain your rights and options under the law.