Senate Passes Another COBRA Subsidy Extension Bill

Last week, the U.S. Senate passed legislation that would further extend the federal COBRA subsidy created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act of 2010 (H.R. 4213), which passed the Senate by a 62-36 vote, would extend the subsidy to individuals who were involuntarily terminated through December 31, 2010.

The new legislation is a follow-up to the Temporary Extension Act of 2010 (H.R. 4691), which President Barack Obama signed into law at the beginning of March. This previous legislation extended the federal COBRA subsidy to individuals who are involuntarily terminated between March 1, 2010, and March 31, 2010.

Similar to the Temporary Extension Act of 2010, the new legislation would also allow certain individuals who initially lost group health coverage because of a reduction in hours and were then terminated after the legislation was enacted to receive the subsidy.

Either the U.S. House of Representatives will have to take up the Senate bill or members of both houses will have to meet to work out a compromise regarding the legislation. We will continue to keep you updated on the bill’s status.

Also, you can keep up with the latest legal changes affecting employer benefits and trends in employee benefits with the Benefits Complete Compliance