New COBRA model notices available

May 12, 2014 - by: Jessica Webb-Ayer 0 COMMENTS

by Jessica Webb-Ayer

The Obama administration recently announced that new COBRA model notices are available. The notices alert employees about their ability to continue their healthcare coverage through COBRA following certain events that otherwise would result in termination of coverage.

The administration updated the notices to make it clear that if employees are eligible for COBRA continuation coverage when they leave a job, they may choose to purchase coverage through the health insurance marketplace (aka the health insurance exchange). According to the administration, the updated notices provide information “on more affordable options available through the marketplace, where workers and families may be eligible for financial assistance that would not otherwise be available for COBRA continuation coverage.”

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Colorado civil union law takes effect May 1

by Rebecca Hudson

Colorado’s new civil union law goes into effect May 1, meaning Colorado joins eight other states that permit civil unions or have similar laws that recognize them. Nine other states and Washington, D.C., allow same-sex marriage.

Under the Colorado Civil Union Act, the state will recognize civil unions entered into by same-sex and opposite-sex couples, granting rights afforded to traditionally married couples. But unlike a marriage, a civil union doesn’t provide federal protections or responsibilities. For example, under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), federal programs define marriage as “between one man and one woman.” If a Colorado employer remains governed by federal law, any benefits it offers won’t be extended to partners in a civil union.

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President, Congress Extend COBRA Subsidy Again

April 16, 2010 - by: HR Hero 3 COMMENTS

Yesterday, President Barack Obama signed the Continuing Extension Act of 2010 (H.R. 4851) into law. The bill, which passed the U.S. Senate by a 59-38 vote and the U.S. House of Representatives by a 289-112 vote yesterday, extends the original federal COBRA subsidy created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The new legislation extends the subsidy to individuals who are involuntarily terminated between April 1, 2010, and May 31, 2010. Since the last COBRA subsidy extension period ended March 31, 2010, this extension applies retroactively. Congress is also considering legislation that would further extend the COBRA subsidy to the end of the year.

Senate Passes Another COBRA Subsidy Extension Bill

March 16, 2010 - by: HR Hero 6 COMMENTS

Last week, the U.S. Senate passed legislation that would further extend the federal COBRA subsidy created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act of 2010 (H.R. 4213), which passed the Senate by a 62-36 vote, would extend the subsidy to individuals who were involuntarily terminated through December 31, 2010.

The new legislation is a follow-up to the Temporary Extension Act of 2010 (H.R. 4691), which President Barack Obama signed into law at the beginning of March. This previous legislation extended the federal COBRA subsidy to individuals who are involuntarily terminated between March 1, 2010, and March 31, 2010.

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President Signs One-Month COBRA Subsidy Extension Legislation

March 03, 2010 - by: HR Hero 2 COMMENTS

Late Tuesday night, President Barack Obama signed the Temporary Extension Act of 2010 (H.R. 4691) into law. The bill, which passed the U.S. Senate by a 78-19 vote Tuesday night and passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week, extends the original federal COBRA subsidy created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) by one month.

The new legislation extends the subsidy to individuals who are involuntarily terminated between March 1, 2010, and March 31, 2010. Since the last COBRA subsidy extension period ended February 28, 2010, this extension applies retroactively (i.e., to March 1 and 2). The legislation also includes a provision that allows certain individuals who initially lost group health coverage because of a reduction in hours and were then terminated after the legislation was enacted to receive the subsidy.

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Obama Includes Another COBRA Subsidy Extension in Budget

February 03, 2010 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

The Obama administration proposed another extension of COBRA premium subsidy benefits on Monday, according to Business Insurance. President Barack Obama included this latest extension in his proposed federal budget for the fiscal year 2011. The proposed extension would reportedly extend the 65 percent premium subsidy to individuals whose employment is terminated between March 1, 2010, and December 31, 2010, and those individuals would be eligible for the subsidy for up to 12 months.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which President Obama signed into law last February, created the original federal COBRA subsidy. Under the ARRA, the federal government paid 65 percent of COBRA premiums for up to nine months for employees who were involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008, and December 31, 2009.

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DOL Releases Updated COBRA Model Notices

January 13, 2010 - by: HR Hero 2 COMMENTS

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) just released updated COBRA Model Notices that reflect the COBRA subsidy extension that was part of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010. The new COBRA subsidy legislation extends the original federal COBRA subsidy created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and requires employers to provide notice to certain current and future COBRA beneficiaries that details the premium subsidy extension created by the new legislation.

The EBSA’s COBRA page now has several new model notices available, including: read more…

Categories: COBRA / DOL

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COBRA Subsidy Extension Legislation’s Effect on Employers

December 28, 2009 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

Last week, President Barack Obama signed legislation into law that extends the original federal COBRA subsidy created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The legislation extends:

  • the total allowable time an individual could receive the COBRA subsidy by six months (from nine to 15 months); and
  • the subsidy to individuals who are involuntarily terminated between January 1, 2010, and February 28, 2010.

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President Signs COBRA Subsidy Extension Legislation into Law

December 22, 2009 - by: HR Hero 19 COMMENTS

President Barack Obama signed legislation into law today that would extend the original federal COBRA subsidy created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The legislation was part of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010 (H.R. 3326), a bill that appropriates funds for the Department of Defense. The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a 395-34 vote and the U.S. Senate by an 88-10 vote last week. The legislation extends: read more…

Senate Votes to Extend COBRA Subsidy

December 19, 2009 - by: HR Hero 2 COMMENTS

Update Dec. 21, 2009: President signs bill including COBRA subsidy extension

In an unusual Saturday morning session on Dec. 19, the U.S. Senate voted 88-10 to pass legislation that would extend the original federal COBRA subsidy created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which President Barack Obama signed into law in February.

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