Are you required to provide COBRA notices in another language (non-English)?
Recently, it was reported that a class action lawsuit was filed, alleging that a hotel chain failed to provide sufficient notification for COBRA benefits for terminated employees because the notices were not provided in alternative languages, such as Spanish.
The class action lawsuit is concentrating on the notice as not adequately explaining election procedures or identifying the hotel chain as the plan administrator, as well as stating it was not written so that an average plan participant would understand it.
While there are some documents that must be provided with language assistance or translation services, such as Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs), as of August 2018 the Department of Labor (DOL) states that the COBRA notification is not required to be provided in any language other than English.
Please be assured that FBA’s COBRA Administration explains all required COBRA information clearly. Our COBRA team is available to answer any questions you may have regarding COBRA notifications, DOL regulations and other topics. Please reach out to us with any questions.
Keep in mind that our translation capabilities are available for over fifteen dialects, and can be used to provide translation support for all of the services, including FSA, HRA, and HSA administration.