Archive for the ‘Continuing Extension Act of 2010’ Category

So yesterday I discussed COBRA benefits, when they are generally available and the applicable time frames. You also need to be aware of recent legislation affecting the amount and duration of your COBRA benefits.

The Obama Administration passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (“ARRA”) of 2009 which provided expanded rights under COBRA. ARRA gave employees (and their dependents) who were involuntarily terminated from employment between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009 the right to elect COBRA coverage and pay only 35% of the COBRA premium. Under ARRA, the subsidy was limited to a total of 9 months.

Since the enactment of ARRA, the subsidy period has been extended twice to include employees involuntarily terminated through March 31, 2010 and the length of the subsidy has been increased from 9 to 15 months. On April 15, 2010, Congress passed the Continuing Extension Act of 2010 (“Act”) and the White House is reporting that it was signed by the President on the same day. The Act again extends the subsidy, this time to employees who are involuntarily terminated through May 31, 2010. The Act also provides transition relief to individuals who lost their jobs between March 31, 2010 and the date of enactment. The subsidy still remains capped at 15 months.

So make sure when determining how much COBRA premium you are required to pay and how long you are entitled to receive COBRA that you either check with your Human Resources department or an experienced employment law attorney.