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COBRA Premium Assistance Program Requires Immediate Action By Employers

February 27, 2009

Authors: Richard I. Cohen, Ira H. Goldman, Kelly Smith Hathorn

The $787 billion Economic Stimulus Package, officially named the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which President Obama signed into law on February 17th, provides some immediate financial relief in the form of COBRA premium discounts for workers who were or are involuntarily terminated during the 16-month period that began September 1, 2008 and ends December 31, 2009 (the “COBRA Premium Assistance Program”). It also places some immediate burdens on employers. The COBRA Premium Assistance Program applies to group health plans that must offer federal COBRA or state COBRA (e.g., state COBRA applies in Connecticut to insured group health plans of employers that have fewer than 20 employees). There is no exception under the new law that exempts small employers, so this information is relevant to virtually all employers.  Please click here to view the alert in its entirety.

NOTE: On March 19, the Department of Labor issued a series of model notices that employers can use to satisfy the notice requirements that we described to you in the above alert. For copies of these model notices, click on this link.  Please contact any member of our Employee Benefits Practice Group if you have questions.

 

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