Posted by: danielrashke | April 19, 2010

COBRA Subsidy Eligibility Extended

After a long week of debate, on April 15th President Barack Obama signed an $18 billion bill temporarily extending unemployment and health benefits to millions of Americans, including those receiving coverage through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).

Through the bill, a 65 percent subsidy of COBRA benefits for those who have lost their jobs is extended through May 31, 2010.  On April 5, tens of thousands of unemployed Americans started to lose their benefits after being out of work for a period of more than 26 weeks.  The new bill works retroactively to April 5, meaning benefits will also be restored for anyone who became unemployed since that date.  Under the new extension, persons who file for unemployment benefits before June 1 will receive the 65 percent subsidy for up to 15 months.

With consumer spending on the rise and unemployment slowing, I think this may well be the final extension of COBRA that we see.  Like many of our leaders, I am cautiously optimistic that most individuals will find work in that time period and no longer need COBRA.


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