Continuation Coverage Requirements

published in Benefits Compliance Strategies for Plans, Programs & Policies | 2014

By John Papahronis and Alison Patel

Published by BLR – Business & Legal Resources, the updated 2014 edition of Benefits Compliance: Strategies for Plans, Programs & Policies is the go-to reference book for benefits managers, HR professionals, employers and counsel. Co-authored by many of the nation’s leading benefits lawyers, the manual’s 12 chapters address key areas of benefits law, including health care reform; ERISA in general; disclosure and reporting options for group health plans; ERISA fiduciary and claims procedures; tax laws related to employee benefits; continuation coverage requirements for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA); HIPAA portability, privacy and security; Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act; Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA); Medicare; discrimination laws affecting benefit plans; and workers’ compensation, disability and life insurance, adoption and other fringe benefit plans.

In the chapter titled “Continuation Coverage Requirements,” McAfee & Taft employee benefits lawyer John Papahronis and co-author Alison Patel discuss various federal statutes that may require group health plans to provide continuing health coverage to certain individuals. These include a detailed review of COBRA, FMLA,  USERRA and Michelle’s Law. The latter prevents group health plans from terminating the health coverage of a college, university, or trade school student, who is otherwise eligible as a dependent, when that covered student takes a medically necessary leave of absence.