One of the provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) includes a 100 percent fully subsidized COBRA premium for certain individuals beginning on April 1, 2021 and ending on September 30, 2021(subsidy period). Employers must timely notify individuals who become entitled to elect COBRA during the subsidy period of the subsidy’s availability and the option to enroll in different coverage (if permitted by the plan) by May 30, 2021. In addition, employers must notify individuals of their subsidy’s expiration between 45 and 15 days before the expiration date.
The DOL recently issued model notices to aid employers in their compliance obligations. Links to the model notices are listed below. While we were hopeful the DOL and IRS would publish their much-needed guidance for ARPA’s COBRA subsidy by now, the release of these notices is a good sign these will be released next.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration posted the following:
- COBRA Premium Subsidy dedicated page
- FAQs [PDF]
- Model Notices: