COBRA PREMIUM ASSISTANCE BENEFIT EXTENSION SIGNED BY PRESIDENT

President signs bill to extend COBRA subsidy benefits

The 2010 defense appropriations bill (H.R. 3326), signed by the President on December 21, 2009, includes an extension of the eligibility period for premium assistance under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). The current premium subsidy eligibility period was scheduled to end on December 31, 2009. It is now extended to February 28, 2010. The nine months of premium reduction has now been increased to 15 months under the extension.

Workers who are involuntarily terminated from their jobs (assistance-eligible individuals) and are eligible for COBRA health insurance coverage, are responsible for 35 percent of the premium versus the total premium as was originally the case.

This premium assistance was originally part of the federal stimulus package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), enacted last February.

HR Professionals, there are some other significant changes, read the summary comments here.

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