Below is a great example of why it is important to meet COBRA obligations and why it’s important to keep accurate records.
In July 2014 Paul Debene (Debene) was terminated from his position at BayCare Purchasing Partners (BayCare), for violating BayCare’s conflict of interest policies. After his termination, Debene inquired about his health insurance, since he had a pacemaker in his chest and hadn’t received a COBRA continuation notice. When he called a BayCare’s senior benefits specialist, she mistakenly told him that he wasn’t covered anymore, since he was terminated for gross misconduct. Debene decided to contact a BayCare plan administrator and the Labor Department to state that he hadn’t received a COBRA notice. In turn they sent him a COBRA election package and extended his election period.
Debene later filed suit saying he never received the Cobra Election package. BayCare’s defense was they even though Debene never received the package, their actions still complied with COBRA. BayCare contracted with Benefits Concepts to provide Debene with his COBRA election notices. BayCare and Benefits Concepts were able to provide evidence that they followed procedure and that they complied with COBRA obligations even though Debene never received the package.
The court granted BayCare’s motion for summary judgement, because of the documentation they were able to provide, proving they complied with COBRA obligations.
It is important to meet the requirements for COBRA as well as keep accurate documentation of those practices. This way you and your company are protected. Is your business currently complying with COBRA?
Read more about the case Debene vs. BayCare Health System, Inc.