On April 15, 2010, President Obama signed the extension of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) COBRA Premium Subsidy into law under the Continuing Extension Act of 2010 (CEA). For more information, click here. On April 29, 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued model notices to help plans comply with their notice obligations under the extension of the COBRA Premium Subsidy. Each DOL model is designed for a particular group of assistance eligible individuals.
The updated General Notice is for all qualified beneficiaries (not just covered employees) who experienced a qualifying event at any time from September 1, 2008, through May 31, 2010, regardless of the type of qualifying event, and who have not yet been provided a COBRA election notice.
The Notice of New Election Period should be sent to all individuals who:
Experienced a qualifying event that was a reduction in hours at any time from September 1, 2008, through May 31, 2010
Subsequently experience a termination of employment at any point from March 2, 2010, through May 31, 2010
Either did not elect continuation coverage when it was first offered or elected but subsequently discontinued the coverage
Additionally, CEA provides that for the April 1, 2010, through April 14, 2010, period, the Notice of New Election Period should be provided upon any termination of employment.
The Supplemental Information Notice should be provided to all individuals who elected and maintained continuation coverage based on the following qualifying events:
All qualifying events related to a termination of employment that occurred from March 1, 2010, through April 14, 2010, for which notice of the availability of premium reduction available under ARRA was not given
Reductions of hours that occurred during the period from September 1, 2008, through May 31, 2010, which were followed by a termination of the employees’ employment that occurred on or after March 2, 2010 and by May 31, 2010
The Notice of Extended Election Period must be provided to all individuals who:
Experienced a qualifying event that was a termination of employment at some time from April 1, 2010, through April 14, 2010
Were provided notice that did not inform them of their rights under ARRA, as amended by CEA
Either chose not to elect continuation coverage at that time or elected continuation coverage but subsequently discontinued that coverage
The updated Alternative Notice is for individuals who became eligible for continuation coverage under a state law.