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June 23, 2010

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), as amended

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), as amended
Source: US Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration

The Act, as amended, provides for premium reductions for health benefits under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, commonly called COBRA. Eligible individuals pay only 35 percent of their COBRA premiums and the remaining 65 percent is reimbursed to the coverage provider through a tax credit.

To qualify, individuals must experience a COBRA qualifying event that is the involuntary termination of a covered employee's employment.

The involuntary termination must generally occur during the period that began September 1, 2008 and ends on May 31, 2010.

An involuntary termination of employment that occurs on or after March 2, 2010 but by May 31, 2010 and follows a qualifying event that was a reduction of hours that occurred at any time from September 1, 2008 through May 31, 2010 is also a qualifying event for purposes of ARRA.

The premium reduction applies to periods of health coverage that began on or after February 17, 2009 and lasts for up to 15 months. See Continuing Extension Act of 2010.

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