COBRA Update

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ("ARRA"), as amended, provides for premium reductions for health benefits under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 ("COBRA").

On April 15, 2010, the President signed into law an extension of unemployment benefits and the COBRA premium assistance that helps with the cost of health benefits for participants who lost their jobs. This extension provides a COBRA premium subsidy for eligible individuals who are involuntarily terminated from employment through May 31, 2010. The new law also provides retroactive eligibility for individuals who lost their jobs after the prior COBRA subsidy expired on March 31, 2010.

"Assistance Eligible Individuals" pay only 35 percent of their COBRA premiums; the remaining 65 percent is reimbursed to the coverage provider through a tax credit. The premium reduction applies to periods of health coverage that began on or after February 17, 2009 and last for up to 15 months.

As always, any questions you may have regarding your benefits may be directed to the Trust Funds Administrative Office at (323) 221-5861 or 1-800-824-6935.

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