President Extends COBRA Subsidy Under New Department of Defense Appropriations Act

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On December 21, 2009, President Obama signed legislation extending the COBRA premium subsidy originally established under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ("ARRA"). Under the ARRA, only individuals who were involuntarily terminated and who lost group health insurance coverage before December 31, 2009 were eligible to receive the subsidy. Moreover, the subsidy was only available for nine months of coverage.

The new legislation extends federal COBRA health coverage cost subsidies for 6 additional months for a total of 15 months of subsidized coverage. The extension applies to those COBRA beneficiaries whose nine-month premium subsidy under the ARRA had expired. The legislation also extends the qualifying event deadline to February 28, 2010.

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