Senator Scales Back COBRA Subsidy Extension Plan

By Staff Report

Jun. 23, 2010

Laid-off employees would again be eligible for federal COBRA premium subsidies under a proposal by Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pennsylvania.

Under the amendment that Casey proposed last week to tax extension legislation, employees laid off from June 1 through November 30 would be eligible for the 65 percent federal premium subsidy for six months.

That is a reduction from the 15-month subsidy extension he proposed earlier.
Senate Democratic leaders have been unable to muster sufficient support to bring the broader bill, H.R. 4213, to a vote by the full Senate. Republicans and some fiscally conservative Democrats oppose the broader bill because it would add to the federal deficit.

However, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana, pledged last week to refine the measure to reduce its overall cost and get the 60 votes needed to stop debate and win passage.

It isn’t known how much the latest extension proposal would cost. An earlier proposal to extend the 15-month COBRA subsidy to those laid off through year-end was projected to cost nearly $8 billion, according to congressional budget analysts.

On the Senate floor, Casey said the six-month COBRA subsidy would be fully paid for by a change in the federal earned income tax credit.

While the economy is improving, layoffs are continuing and the extension of the subsidy is needed to ensure that laid-off workers have access to quality health care, Casey said.

The latest COBRA subsidy expired May 31, which means employees involuntarily terminated since June 1 have been ineligible for the subsidy.  

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

Stay informed and connected. Get human resources news and HR features via Workforce Management’s Twitter feed or RSS feeds for mobile devices and news readers.


blog workforce

We build robust scheduling & attendance software for businesses with 500+ frontline workers. With custom BI reporting and demand-driven scheduling, we help our customers reduce labor spend and increase profitability across their business. It's as simple as that.

Book a call
See the software

Related Articles

workforce blog


Minimum Wage by State in 2022 – All You Need to Know

Summary The federal minimum wage rate is $7.25, but the rate is higher in 30 states, along with Washing...

federal law, minimum wage, pay rates, state law, wage law compliance

workforce blog


California’s push for a 32-hour workweek explained, and how to prepare

Summary: California is considering a 32-hour workweek bill for businesses with over 500 staff 4 day wee...

32 hour workweek, 4 day workweek, california, legislature, overtime

workforce blog


A business owner’s guide to restaurant tipping law

Business owners in the restaurant industry are in a unique position when it comes to employee tips. As ...

restaurants, tip laws, tipping