COBRA Extension in the Works

Virtual Water Cooler, February 10, 2010

Bill Kenealy

Another extension to subsidies to the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) is contained a pending jobs bill.

According to the version of the bill currently circulating around Capitol Hill, the 65% premium subsidy available to employees involuntarily terminated from Sept. 1, 2008 through Feb. 28, 2010, would be extended until May 31, 2010. However, the duration laid off workers are eligible to receive benefits remains at 15 months.

Given the nation’s continuing high unemployment rate another COBRA subsidy extension is likely to receive broad support in Congress, and key lawmakers such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, (D-Nev.) and Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) are said to be backing an extension.

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