Yesterday, President Obama signed H.R. 4691, The Temporary Extension Act, into law, thereby extending both the COBRA subsidy and UI extension for the unemployed (of which I am one).
The Temporary Extension Act includes the following (via SHRM):
The law’s COBRA provisions:
- Extend the eligibility period for the 15-month 65 percent premium subsidy to those involuntarily terminated from March 1 through March 31, 2010.
- Allow employees to receive the subsidy if they first lost group coverage due to a reduction in hours and then were terminated after enactment of the bill.
The law’s unemployment insurance benefit provisions:
- Extend the period during which individuals may file applications for Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) from the current end date of February 28, 2010 to April 5, 2010 and the period during which individuals may claim and be paid EUC is extended from July 31, 2010 to September 4, 2010.
- Extend the period during which individuals may qualify for the Federal Additional Compensation (FAC), the extra $25 weekly benefit amount on state and federal unemployment compensation, from the current end date of February 28, 2010 to April 5, 2010 with weekly payment provided during the phase out period for weeks ending October 5, 2010 instead of August 31, 2010.
- Extend the period during which 100% federal reimbursement for weeks of regular federal extended benefit payments to April 5, 2010, with the state option to continue the extended period from July 31, 2010 to September 4, 2010.
All of this sounds good, yes. Well it is good but it is temporary. The temporary part of this act has to do with the fact Congress needs more time to debate ongoing legislation such as H.R. 4213 which essentially mirrors H.R. 4691, but would continue the extensions through the end of 2010 rather than the end of September.
I will certainly be keeping an eye on it.