LAW ALERT: Cobra Subsidy Extended Yet Again

President Obama signed H.R. 4851 into law on April 15, 2010. The new law amends the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“ARRA”) yet again to extend the 65% COBRA premium assistance through May 31, 2010.

The COBRA subsidy was originally provided as part of the ARRA in 2009. If an employee is involuntarily terminated on or before May 31, 2010 and is otherwise eligible for COBRA, he or she is eligible to receive a 65% subsidy in his or her COBRA premiums. This means the former employer pays 65% of the health insurance premium under COBRA and the employee pays the remaining 35%. Employers can then apply for a tax credit for the portion of the COBRA premium they pay.


Lizbeth “Beth” West is a shareholder in the Labor and Employment Law Section and Disputes, Trials & Appeals Section at Weintraub Genshlea Chediak. Beth’s practice focuses on counseling employers in all areas of employment law, and defending employers in state and federal court, as well as before administrative agencies. She has extensive experience in defending wage and hour claims, and complex whistle-blowing and retaliation claims. She also provides training services on various employment issues, such as sexual harassment and violence in the workplace. If you have any questions about this Legal Alert or other employment law related questions, please feel free to contact Beth West at (916) 558-6082. For additional articles on employment law issues, please visit Weintraub’s employment law blog at