DoL to Hold Webcast on COBRA Subsidy Extension

January 20, 2010 ( – The U.S. Department of Labor has announced the availability of new model notices and that it will host a Webcast on the COBRA subsidy extension.

The free Webcast will be held on January 22, from 1 to 3 p.m. (EST) and is designed to help employers, plan administrators, and service providers comply with the notice requirements.

The DoL said it has updated two of its existing model notices and developed a new model to cover various situations faced by dislocated workers and their families. 

The model notices include:

  • A model general notice that includes updated information on the premium reduction as well as information required in a COBRA election notice;
  • A new model premium assistance extension notice that includes information on the extension of the premium assistance from nine to 15 months and on the right to make retroactive, reduced premium payment(s); and
  • An updated model alternative notice for use by issuers of group health insurance coverage subject to state continuation coverage laws.

The Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2010 amended the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to extend the eligibility period for the subsidy two additional months and the duration from nine to 15 months (see COBRA Subsidy Extension Passed).  With the subsidy, eligible individuals pay 35% of their COBRA premiums, and the remaining 65% is reimbursed to the employer through a tax credit.

The model notice packages are available for download from the DoL Employee Benefit Security Administration’s dedicated Web page at  The Web page also contains updated frequently asked questions, a fact sheet and a poster to help dislocated workers, their families and employers understand the requirements (see EBSA Adds COBRA Subsidy Extension Materials).