In our May 4 blog on the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) we discussed the tax credits available to companies offering sick time to employees with COVID-19 related issues. We would like to highlight the assistance in paying COBRA premiums that is another component of the Act.
If you have sustained a qualifying event such as involuntary termination of employment or a reduction in hours that caused you to lose your health insurance, and you were covered by a COBRA eligible health care plan, you may be eligible to receive COBRA benefits at no cost for a period from April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021. Your employer should provide you with all the necessary forms to make the election for COBRA continued health insurance and to qualify as a premium assistance eligible individual. You should notify your employer of your request that you be treated as an eligible individual if you do not receive the forms from them. There is also a provision for an additional election period for people whose qualifying event occurred prior to April 1, 2021.
If you had a spouse and/or dependent on your health insurance plan when the qualifying event occurred, they may also be eligible for the COBRA premium assistance.
While this benefit is widely available, you will not qualify if you were involuntarily terminated due to gross misconduct or if you have eligibility for another group plan or Medicare.
IRS Information N-2021-31 (irs.gov)
FAQS ABOUT COBRA PREMIUM ASSISTANCE UNDER THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT OF 2021 (dol.gov)
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