Employee Benefits-EBSA Posts An Updated Application For Expedited Review Of Denial Of COBRA Premium Reduction

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (the “EBSA”) has posted on its website an Application for Expedited Review of Denial of COBRA Premium Reduction, updated for the changes made to COBRA by the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010 (“DODA 2010”).

By way of background, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“ARRA”) provides for a reduction in the premiums that must be paid for COBRA health care coverage. Under ARRA, eligible individuals pay only 35 percent of their COBRA premiums, and the remaining 65 percent is reimbursed to the employer or insurer through a tax credit (the “Subsidy”). This Subsidy was available for 9 months, and to qualify for the Subsidy, an individual had to experience an involuntary termination of employment during the period of September 1, 2008 through December 31, 2009. DODA 2010 amended ARRA and COBRA to make the Subsidy available for 15 months, and to extend the period during which the involuntary termination of employment must occur until February 28, 2010.

Under ARRA, as amended by DODA 2010, individuals who are denied the Subsidy may request an expedited review of the denial by the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department must make a determination within 15 business days of receipt of a completed request for review. The request for review is made on the Application for Expedited Review of Denial of COBRA Premium Reduction, which the EBSA has now updated to reflect DODA 2010. The updated Application is here.