February 4th, 2010 – December 17th of last year President Obama signed an extension of the COBRA subsidy program. This program provides for a federal subsidy of 65 percent of the COBRA continuation coverage premiums for qualified beneficiaries receiving COBRA or Colorado State continuation coverage due to involuntary termination of employment between September 1, 2008, and December 31, 2009.
While the initial program provided subsidies for up to 9 months, under the new COBRA subsidy extension provision this was expanded to up to 15 months. Also the end date of eligibility for the premium subsidy changed from December 31, 2009, to February 28, 2010.
It is our understanding that those who lost their subsidy by completing their nine months in November or later will be grandfathered in under the new law and may receive six additional months of the subsidy. Employees who are involuntary terminated on or before February 28, 2010, are eligible for the subsidy, regardless of when their COBRA or Colorado State continuation coverage eligibility period begins.
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).