COBRA Premium Subsidy Extended

December 22nd, 2009 by

The COBRA Premium Subsidy has been extended with President Obama signing into law on December 21st.

The bill would extend the nine-month, 65 percent premium federal subsidy by six months. The change would apply to those who are involuntarily terminated through February 28, 2010, and would also would provide another six months of subsidized coverage for beneficiaries whose nine-month COBRA premium subsidy has run out.

In addition, the legislation would give beneficiaries whose subsidy expired and who didn’t pay the full premium the opportunity to receive retroactive coverage. For example, a beneficiary whose nine months of subsidized coverage ran out November 30 and who didn’t pay the unsubsidized premium for December could pay his or her 35 percent share in January and receive COBRA coverage for December.

The legislation requires employers to notify current and future COBRA beneficiaries of the new 15-month premium subsidy. Employers can offset future COBRA premiums or issue refund checks for beneficiaries who overpaid their COBRA premium.  This could happen if a beneficiary whose subsidy ran out in November paid the full premium rather than the 35 percent share in December.

To learn more about how the extension of the COBRA subsidy will impact your company register for a free webinar on How to Solve the  Riddle of Employee Leave Law on January on January 7th presented by John Boggs, nationally recongized labor and employment attorney.

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One Response to “COBRA Premium Subsidy Extended”

  1. Joseph says:

    There are many like us who would pay the entire pmemiurs for their COBRA group plans if they could, beyond the 18 months. As high as they are, the alternative of no insurance would be catastrophic, especially if one has a pre-existing condition. I have been writing to President Obama and to my Senators and Congressman, urging them to enact an extension, without govt. subsidy, NOW, before it is too late. Charles B. Rangel is Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, and it would be worth writing to him as well. If they hear from enough people threatened with losing all their coverage, they may act.

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