End of COBRA Premium Subsidy: Notice Obligations by September 15
By Lisa Calick, Director, HR Advisory
As mentioned in our earlier blog, American Rescue Plan: Free COBRA Coverage, certain qualified Assistance Eligible Individuals (AEIs) have been eligible for a COBRA premium subsidy between the months of April 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021. With the expiration of this subsidy at the end of this month, employers need to make sure they are providing the required notice to individuals.
One of the obligations of employers has been to notify Assistance Eligible Individuals in advance of the expiration of their premium assistance. While some AEIs may have seen an end to their subsidy earlier if they had reached their maximum COBRA continuation coverage period, or become eligible for Medicare or another group health plan, those who have continued to benefit from the premium subsidy will see it expire the end of this month.
Employers must provide notice at least 15 days, but no more than 45 days, before the expiration date. As such, notices will need to be provided no later than September 15, 2021 for those still receiving the subsidy. The Department of Labor had issued a model notice that may be used.
Employers should ensure that they, or their COBRA administrators, are keeping compliant with this notice obligation.