Health and Retirement Benefits

This section discusses several issues relative to employee health and retirement benefits. These include the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA); the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA); the companion state law, Cal-COBRA; and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (​ERISA).

The section on the ACA explains certain key health care reforms implemented by that law.

The discussion of COBRA and Cal-COBRA explains covered plans, covered employers (organization size and employee count), denying coverage, qualified beneficiaries, qualifying events, length of coverage, terminating coverage and conversion plans. The website provides model notices for both COBRA and Cal-COBRA. The COBRA notices and explanations satisfy federal regulations.

The includes information on California’s Health Insurance Premium Payment Program (HIPP), not to be confused with HIPAA. HIPP provides assistance to certain individuals to permit them to pay for COBRA coverage.

Our brief overview of ERISA identifies:

  • Which plans and people are covered
  • Employer’s fiduciary requirements
  • Reporting and disclosure requirements
  • Nondiscrimination laws​​​​