The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a new set of model notices that cover the extended COBRA premium subsidy period and eligibility deadline made by the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010. The new model notices are available on the DOL Web site. Plan administrators should be mindful of the Feb. 17, 2010, deadline to update notices.

As discussed in detail in our Jan. 8, 2010, advisory, "New Law Extends COBRA Premium Subsidy and Eligibility Periods," plan administrators must provide additional notification to anyone who was an assistance-eligible individual at any time on or after Oct. 31, 2009, or who terminated employment on or after Oct. 31, 2009.

Plan administrators must provide this additional notification no later than Feb.17, 2010, or, in the case of a qualifying event occurring after Dec. 19, 2009, consistent with COBRA’s normal election notice timing requirements. Plan administrators must also provide additional notification to any assistance-eligible individual who (1) had COBRA coverage for the original nine-month subsidy period prior to Dec. 19, 2009, and (2) did not timely pay the premium at any time during the transition period. The plan administrator must provide the notice within the first 60 days of the assistance-eligible individual’s transition period.