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EBSA Taking COBRA Appeals

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The Employee Benefits Security Administration has set up a system that individuals can use to contest COBRA premium subsidy denials.

The system will serve involuntarily terminated workers who are trying to get help with paying for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act group health coverage continuation benefits.

Terminated workers can ask for an EBSA review by submitting an application through the Web, by mail or by fax, officials say.

The new American Recovery and Reinvestment Act requires the federal government to reimburse affected employers for 65% of the terminated workers’ COBRA continuation premiums for 9 months.

The eligible terminated workers must pay the other 35% of the benefits continuation premiums.

The individuals eligible for the COBRA subsidy are those who have been or will be involuntarily terminated between Sept. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2009.

The subsidy program excludes some otherwise eligible individuals, including some workers who have been terminated for cause.

Before President Obama signed ARRA in February, employers could charge employees who signed up for COBRA continuation benefits an amount equal to 102% of the actual cost of the coverage.

Information about the appeals process is available here.


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