House Approves Stopgap COBRA Subsidy Extension

By Staff Report

Feb. 26, 2010

The House of Representatives has approved legislation to provide a stopgap 31-day extension of federal subsidies of COBRA health care premiums.

The measure, H.R. 4681, would extend the 65 percent, 15-month federal premium subsidy to employees involuntarily terminated from March 1 through March 31.Without the extension, employees laid off after February 28 would be ineligible for the subsidy.

The measure approved Thursday, February 25, also would allow employees who first lost group coverage due to a reduction in hours and then were terminated to receive the COBRA premium subsidy, so long as certain conditions were met.

The House action comes as the Senate is considering legislation, H.R. 1586, to extend the subsidy through March 28. It is possible, though, that the Senate instead will take up the House COBRA measure, which also includes provisions to extend temporarily other expiring laws.

In addition, the Senate next week is expected to consider a proposal to extend the subsidy by 10 months, so employees who lose their jobs through year-end also would be entitled to the subsidy.


Filed by Jerry Geisel of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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