The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (“EBSA”) released its guidance on the ARPA COBRA subsidy, including the issuance of downloadable model notices. Links to that guidance and the model notices are provided below. Among the FAQs are the following notes, which answer two of the most frequent questions we have received regarding the subsidy:
(1) EBSA confirms that the subsidy is applicable to all employers subject to federal COBRA obligations and also those employers subject to state “mini-COBRA” laws.
(2) The ARPA COBRA subsidy applies to “all group health plans … subject to … COBRA.” This would include, for example, dental and vision insurance benefits, to the extent those programs are health insurance and not fixed indemnity or discount card programs.
Below is the content of the EBSA Notice and Links:
COBRA Premium Assistance under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
- COBRA Premium Subsidy dedicated page, available at: https://www.dol.gov/COBRA-subsidy
- FAQs, available at: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/EBSA/about-ebsa/our-activities/resource-center/faqs/cobra-premium-assistance-under-arp.pdf
- General Notice and Election Notice, available at: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/ebsa/laws-and-regulations/laws/cobra/premium-subsidy/model-general-and-election-notice.pdf
- Notice in Connection with Extended Election Period, available at: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/ebsa/laws-and-regulations/laws/cobra/premium-subsidy/model-extended-election-periods-notice.pdf
- Alternative Notice, available at: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/ebsa/laws-and-regulations/laws/cobra/premium-subsidy/model-alternative-election-notice.pdf
- Notice of Expiration of Premium Assistance, available at: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/ebsa/laws-and-regulations/laws/cobra/premium-subsidy/notice-of-premium-assistance-expiration-premium.pdf
Summary of the COBRA Premium Assistance Provisions, available at: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/ebsa/laws-and-regulations/laws/cobra/premium-subsidy/summary-of-provisions.pdf