Federal subsidies covering 65 percent of the cost of COBRA premiums will expire after Wednesday.
The subsidies, enacted under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), were given to eligible unemployed workers laid off between September 2008 and May 2010. [DOL has offered a full fact sheet on the COBRA Premium Reduction]
continuation coverage or the COBRA premium assistance through an employment-based health plan. The Department of Health and Human Services will handle requests for Federal, State, and local governmental employees including public schools, public colleges and universities, or a police or fire department, as well as requests related to group health insurance coverage provided pursuant to state continuation coverage laws. The Departments are required to make a determination regarding your request within 15 business days after receiving your completed application for review. The Secretary of Labor may assess a penalty against a plan sponsor (and similarly, the Secretary of HHS against a health insurance issuer) of not more than $110 per day for a failure to comply with a determination within 10 days after the date of the receipt of the determination.
Note: Appeals to the Department of Labor must be submitted on the U.S. Department of Labor application form. The form is available at www.dol.gov/COBRA/main.html and can be completed online or submitted by mail or fax as indicated in the instructions. If you believe you have been inappropriately denied eligibility for the premium reduction, you may wish to speak with an Employee Benefits Security Administration Benefits Advisor at 1.866.444.3272 before filing this form. Appeals to the Department of Health and Human Services must be submitted on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services application form. The form is available at www.continuationcoverage.net and can be submitted by mail or fax as indicated in the instructions. For more information about the review of denials, individuals can also contact Maximus, a CMS-sponsored contractor, at 1.866.400.6689.