The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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COBRA Rules and Regulations

Reference Number: MTAS-1549
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: June 03, 2016
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COBRA has been formally amended numerous times since 1986. These major amendments include:

  • Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986;
  • Tax Reform Act of 1986;
  • Technical and Miscellaneous Revenue Act of 1988;
  • Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989;
  • Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990;
  • Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993;
  • Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996;
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996; and
  • Trade Adjustmet Assistance Act of 2002.
  • American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009
  • Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension Act of 2012
  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

In addition, the IRS has issued a number of rulings, guidance, and clarifications dealing with COBRA over the years. In May of 2003 the IRS came out with the long-awaited proposed regulations, which did not differ drastically from the final rules that were released in May of 2004.

Final Rules on COBRA Notice Procedures (May 26, 2004) were effective for most plans January 1, 2005. These new final rules required plan administrators to take the following steps:

  • Revise the initial general COBRA notice
  • Revise COBRA election forms
  • Revise employer-provided notice of qualifying event
  • Update applicable summary plan descriptions
  • Update related plan documents
  • Add two additional notices to their& COBRA administration