Buried in the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2010, which was signed by President Obama on December 19th, 2009, is an extension of the COBRA health coverage premium assistance for involuntarily terminated workers.  Originally a part of the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009”, a change in the law allowed an individual involuntarily terminated from employment between September 1, 2008 through December 31, 2009, to elect to pay 35% of their COBRA premium and have it treated as paying the full amount.  The remaining 65% would be paid by the employer; a credit in that amount would be allowed on their quarterly payroll tax form.  The original law did provide income and other limitations for this benefit, which did not change as a result of the new law.  The new law has extended the initial eligibility for this benefit through February 28, 2010.  The reduction in premium applies to COBRA coverage lasts for up to 15 months, up from 9 months which was allowed in the old law

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Eric Williams

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