Congress Introduces COBRA Subsidy Expansion Bills

Two separate bills have been introduced, one which is more expansive than the other. The smaller of the two bills is HR 3966, which would only extend the ARRA subsidy for involuntary terminations and loss of coverage occurring through June 30, 2010.  However, the larger bill is HR 3930, and includes the following provisions:

Qualifying events with the 18-month COBRA period would be extended to 24 months for any termination of employment (voluntary or involuntary) or reduction of hours that occurred during the 21-month period starting on April 1, 2008, and ending on December 31, 2009. Further, if an individual’s COBRA coverage already expired before the law is passed, affected qualified beneficiaries would have a second election right to obtain the additional six months of coverage.

The ARRA subsidy would be extended for involuntary terminations and loss of coverage occurring through June 30, 2010. Further, all ARRA subsidies would continue for up to 15 months (current 9 months plus an additional 6 months under the proposal), but all subsidies would end by December 31, 2010 regardless of the new 15-month rule.

These bills have been introduced in the House and are currently in committee; however, they have not reached the House floor for a full vote.  The Senators Brown and Casey have introduced S.2730 in the Senate, a bill which extends COBRA as would HR 3930, but would also increae the subsidy from 65% TO 75%.  Stay tuned to the Health and Wellness as a Business Strategy blog for updates on these bills.

Updated information provided by Joanne Flora.

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4 Responses to “Congress Introduces COBRA Subsidy Expansion Bills”

  1. Prospects for Unemployment & COBRA Extensions - benefits, rate, legislation, insurance, jobless, extension, jobs, employers, employees, hiring, resumes, occupations, government, laws, unions, contracts, workers - Page 7 - City-Data Forum Says:

    […] […]

  2. Scott Bradley Says:

    Joanne

    Thanks very much for the clarification.

    Scott

  3. L Says:

    Isn’t another difference between S.2730 and HR 3930 that the Senate bill would extend the subsidies for everyone who currently gets them, while the House bill would only extend them for people laid off on or after April 1, 2009? That would mean that everyone laid off between September 1, 2008 and March 31, 2009 of this year would lose their subsidies.

    This seems like it would be a large number of people. I’m not sure why the House bill cuts off at April 1.

  4. Holman Says:

    I worry about the Healthcare Plan. Will it create dehabilitating reprocussions on my expenses? How do the improvements to healthcare overshadow the negative aspects?


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