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How To Access Free COBRA Coverage Through September
May 10, 2021

COBRA Continuation Coverage allows you to keep health insurance through your job after experiencing job loss or a reduction in hours. Under the American Rescue Plan, most workers who lose their employer-provided health insurance are entitled to free COBRA coverage, called “COBRA premium assistance,” until September 30, 2021.

Eligibility

You are eligible for COBRA premium assistance if you meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • You lost your employer-provided insurance due to involuntary job termination or reduction in hours*
  • You elect to receive COBRA premium assistance**
  • You DO NOT have another employer health insurance available to you
  • You DO NOT qualify for Medicare

*If you voluntarily left a job or reduced your hours, you are not eligible for COBRA premium assistance.

**If your job was terminated (or hours reduced) before April 1, 2021, you may still qualify for COBRA premium assistance. The Georgetown University Health Policy Institute provides this example: “If someone was laid off from their job in August of 2020 but found the premiums too high to enroll at the time, he or she could come back and enroll for up to 60 days after being notified of the availability of the subsidies under the American Rescue Plan.”

Accessing The Benefit

If you qualify for COBRA premium assistance, you should receive enrollment forms from your insurance provider or employer. 

If you believe you are eligible but have not received a notice, you may notify your employer by filling out a request for treatment as an “Assistance Eligible Individual”. Once you receive the enrollment forms, you have 60 days to elect to receive COBRA premium assistance.

This page provides an overview of the COBRA premium assistance benefit under the American Rescue Plan. We compiled this information to help clarify the benefits; however we are not COBRA experts. For more information about accessing the COBRA continuation payment, visit the Department of Labor’s FAQ page; contact a benefits advisor in the Employee Benefits Security Administration by visiting askebsa.dol.gov or calling 1-866-444-3272; or visit the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute.

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Under the American Rescue Plan, most workers who lose their job-based health insurance are entitled to free COBRA coverage.

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