Senate Passes COBRA Premium Subsidy Extension

By Staff Report

Mar. 10, 2010

The U.S. Senate approved tax legislation on a 62-36 vote Wednesday, March 10, that would further extend COBRA health insurance premium subsidies.

Under H.R. 4213, the 65 percent, 15-month federal premium subsidy would be extended to employees involuntarily terminated through December 31.

The vote followed a stopgap extension for employees terminated involuntarily from March 1-31 that President Barack Obama signed into law last week.

The Senate measure, which was introduced as a substitute amendment to H.R. 4213 already passed by the House, 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.

Other provisions would give employers more time to make required contributions to their pension plans and extend other expiring U.S. Tax Code sections.

The bill now moves back to the House. 

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


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