On Friday, the Obama administration announced a proposed rule (the “Proposed Rule”) that will require that notices sent to workers regarding Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (“COBRA”) health insurance coverage must also include information on purchasing health insurance through the health insurance exchange created as part of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). Generally, COBRA coverage allows an employee and his or her family to continue in employer-sponsored health insurance coverage for a given amount of time after he or she leaves employment, or experiences other qualifying life events resulting in a loss of coverage, by paying the premium under the employer-sponsored plan. The Proposed Rule requires employers to notify such workers of the availability of health insurance plans through the health insurance exchange (also referred to as the “Marketplace”), which may be cheaper than COBRA coverage as a result of potential tax credits and reductions in cost sharing available under the ACA.

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