EBSA Hosts COBRA Workshops

April 3, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) says it will sponsor a series of workshops on subsidy for continuation health benefits under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).

EBSA notes that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides a 65% tax subsidy for the cost of health benefits, making them more affordable for the unemployed and their families (see  IRS Publishes New COBRA Eligibility Guidance ).   Millions of individuals, including those who previously declined employer-provided coverage under COBRA, will be eligible to receive a subsidy on their premiums for up to nine months, according to EBSA.

According to the announcement, the EBSA will sponsor workshops April 6 through 10 in Kansas City.   The COBRA workshops, which are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis, are scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. CDT and 2 p.m. CDT each day at the Labor Department’s EBSA office, 2300 Main St., Suite 1045 conference room.

Ten 90-minute workshops will address subjects such as:

  • who is eligible for the COBRA premium reduction,
  • how the premium reduction works,
  • how long a qualified beneficiary can use the premium reduction,
  • what notices employers are required to make under the new COBRA provisions, and
  • what penalties apply for failure to comply with the law.

Benefit advisors will be available at the workshops following each session to address specific questions.  

Pre-registration is required by calling 816-285-1840 or filling out the form available online at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/COBRAARRAMO.pdf , printing it and faxing it to 816-285-1889.

For more information about the workshops, call 816-285-1813. Parking is available onsite at a reduced rate.   Additional information is available at www.dol.gov/COBRA.