COBRA, the convenient acronym for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, is Federal legislation which allows individuals to retain their health benefits for a limited time after they have been voluntarily or involuntarily terminated from their job.
This bit of legislation is often an important aspect of family law cases where a spouse loses their job or when a Divorce Decree is entered and an ex-spouse is no longer eligible to remain on the other’s medical insurance.
Under COBRA, individuals may be required to pay 102% of the premium for their plan. There have been, however, several premium subsidies provided to eligible individuals under American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“ARRA”). Congress has extended the expiration date for these subsidies on a few occasions, however, as of the drafting of this entry, no further action has occurred and the subsidy has expired for individuals who were involuntarily terminated from their jobs as of June 1, 2010.
An alert on COBRA and the expiration of its premium subsidy was recently issued by Steven Ludwig, a partner in Fox Rothschild’s Labor and Employment practice group. Please read Steven’s alert and also take a look at Fox’s Employee Benefits Blog for more information about this topic and others related to employment related issues.