President Barack Obama has signed legislation that extends the deadline for qualifying for subsidies for COBRA continuation coverage, allowing workers who are involuntarily terminated in March to qualify for the program. The Senate approved the legislation, the Temporary Extension Act of 2010 (H. R. 4691), late on Tuesday.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), as amended by the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2010, allowed workers who were involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008 and February 28, 2010 to be eligible for 65 percent COBRA subsidies. So, workers who were involuntarily terminated after February 28 wouldn't have been eligible for the COBRA subsidy unless Congress passed another extension, which it did.
H.R. 4691 extends the deadline so that workers who are involuntary terminated between September 1, 2008 and March 31, 2010 are eligible for up to 15 months of COBRA subsidies.
The legislation also makes a few other changes and clarifications about the COBRA program.