Last year, the American Recovery & Relief Act (“ARRA”) provided a federal subsidy of 65 percent of the COBRA health premium for individuals who were involuntarily terminated from employment. On March 2, 2010, President Obama signed into law an extension of the COBRA subsidy through March 31, 2010.

To be eligible for the subsidy, an individual had to be terminated from employment between September 1, 2009 and March 31, 2010. The subsidy can last for as long as 15 months or until the individual is eligible for group health insurance or Medicare.

The new extension also provided that individuals who had lost health coverage due to a reduction of hours, and are involuntarily terminated between March 2 and March 31, 2010, are also now eligible for the subsidy.