COBRA Subsidy Extension not Passed Before Lawmakers' Recess

March 29, 2010 ( - The Senate adjourned Friday for a two-week recess without taking action on a bill that would temporarily extend federal COBRA health insurance premium subsidies.

Without the extension, employees who are involuntarily terminated after March 31 will not be eligible for the 65%, 15-month premium subsidy. The House-approved bill would extend the subsidy eligibility through April 30 (see House Passes another COBRA Subsidy Extension).   

Business Insurance reports that action stalled on H.R. 4851, which also would temporarily extend certain other expiring federal programs, after the two political parties clashed on how the extensions would be funded. The Senate is expected to take up the measure soon after legislators return on April 12, and if the bill is approved, the premium subsidies would be retroactive to April 1, according to the news report.       

The Senate has already approved legislation to extend the subsidy to employees laid off through the end of 2010, but the House has not acted on that measure (see Senate Passes COBRA Subsidy Extension).