The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides for a new subsidy of COBRA premiums for employees involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008, and December 31, 2009. These “assistance eligible individuals” will only be required to pay 35% of their COBRA premiums with the remaining 65% of the premiums reimbursed through payroll tax credits to their former employers. The subsidy applies to premiums paid for periods of COBRA coverage beginning on or after February 17, 2009. It also offers employees who would otherwise qualify for the subsidy, but are not currently covered by COBRA, a second chance to elect coverage during a special 60-day election period. This new legislation will impact employers’ ongoing COBRA obligations, including additional notice requirements regarding the subsidy and the special election period. Click on the link to review Seyfarth Shaw’s Management Alert on this topic: http://www.seyfarth.com/MA021809/