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COBRA Premium Subsidies Extended to Those Laid Off in March

March 4th, 2010 – On Tuesday night President Obama signed into law a 31 day extension of federal subsidies of COBRA health care premiums. This means that the 65%, 15-month premium subsidy for laid-off workers is extended to those involuntarily terminated from March 1 through March 31. Otherwise, people laid off after February 28th would have been ineligible for the COBRA premium subsidy.

On Wednesday, the US Senate is debating H.R. 4213, which would extend the premium subsidy to employees laid off through Dec. 31, 2010.

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Dee March 4, 2010, 8:54 pm

    Are you eligible for the prem reduction subsidy if you were fired not laid off? Please refer me to the Labor dept notice on this answer. Is the subsidy only for “laid off” employees?

  • Kurt Vogt March 7, 2010, 3:29 pm

    The web link you provided to DOL does not say to be eligible for the subsidy you have to be ‘laid off’ It says you have to be involuntarily terminated — which isn’t being ‘fired’ being involuntarily terminated? How are you determining that eligibility is only for laid off and doesn’t include those fired as both are in effect involuntarily terminated? Please clarify.

    • Mark March 10, 2010, 12:55 pm

      Yes, it is generally true that people are eligible if fired, provided it was not for gross misconduct and if the separation is involunary on the part of the employee.

  • Kurt Vogt March 8, 2010, 3:41 pm

    Are you eligible for the premium subsidy if you have been fired?

    • Mark March 10, 2010, 12:46 pm

      Yes, generally people are eligible if fired, provided it was not for gross misconduct. If someone is fired for gross misconduct then they are typically not elgible for COBRA, nor for the COBRA subsidy.

  • Keisha March 10, 2010, 12:09 pm

    Does this apply to State Continuation in Colorado as well?

    • Mark March 10, 2010, 12:39 pm

      Yes, as a general rule, this does also apply to Colorado State Continuation Coverage as well.

  • Mark June 1, 2010, 8:43 am

    The eligibility period for the COBRA subsidy program has been extended to May 31, 2010. Individuals who are involuntarily terminated from employment through May 31, 2010, are eligible for the subsidy available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

  • Anonymous June 21, 2010, 5:05 pm

    Any chance the Cobra subsidy program will be extended past May 31, 2010 to allow a reduction in premiums for those involuntarily terminated from employment after that date?

    • Mark June 22, 2010, 7:27 am

      As it stands now, the COBRA subsidy program is only available to those laid off up to May 31st, 2010. It does not appear that will be extended again. You may want to take a look at a lower cost individual health insurance plan if the COBRA premiums are too high.

  • Dyanna July 26, 2010, 8:17 am

    If I was laid off in June of 2010 am I now responsible for the entire $474.00? If so would I be better off seeking other Health Insurance options?

    • Mark July 26, 2010, 8:55 am

      Yes, the COBRA subsidy was available for those with an involuntary termination between 9/1/08 and 5/31/10. Here is a link to the US Department of Labor’s web site for more details. We would be happy to help you try to find a more affordable health insurance plan if you would please fill out this short quote request form. Thank you!!

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