From the Hotline: California COBRA Notice Requirements

Question: For California employers, is it the employer’s responsibility to send out COBRA notices when a small business is subject to Cal-COBRA?

Answer: Most insurance carriers require that the employer notify the carrier of a Cal-COBRA qualifying event. Once the carrier is notified, the carrier will often send Cal-COBRA rights and election paperwork to the former employee and dependents if applicable. Most carriers have a Cal-COBRA qualifying event form that can be mailed or faxed directly to the carrier. Once the employee receives the information from the carrier, it is the employee’s responsibility to work directly with the carrier to enroll and make payment for continuation coverage.

Make sure that your termination checklist includes a reminder to notify the carrier of the terminating employee’s qualifying event and then include a note in the termination paperwork advising the employee to anticipate benefits continuation information from the carrier in the next 14 days. For further guidance on state insurance health care continuation requirements for small employers, contact the California Department of Insurance or your carrier for specific questions.