Update:  On March 2, 2010, Congress passed, and the President signed a 2nd extension of the COBRA subsidy.   The subsidy qualification period has been extended to December 31, 2010.  

President Signs COBRA Subsidy Extension Legislation

  • Extends the premium subsidy eligibility period by two months, so it will end on February 28, 2010, rather than December 31, 2009.
  • Extends the period of the 65 percent COBRA subsidy from nine months to 15 months.
  • Establishes a transition period that applies to individuals who lost subsidies before the effective date of the Act because they received the maximum number of months of subsidies under the original subsidy provisions.
  • Establishes new notification requirements by group health plans or other entities.
  • Clarifies that eligibility and notice requirements for the subsidy are based on eligibility for COBRA due to loss of coverage because of qualifying event (involuntary termination of employment), both of which must occur during the eligibility period.

Becomes effective as if included in the original COBRA subsidy provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Merry Christmas.