COBRA Subsidies under the American Rescue Plan Act
In March, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. A portion of that federal legislation included COBRA subsidies for employees and family members who lost coverage because of an involuntary termination or a reduction in hours after November 1, 2019.
This impacts eligible Dental and Vision participants who elected COBRA at the time of their qualifying event as well as any participants who were offered COBRA due to these termination reasons but opted not to enroll at the time of their qualifying event. Those who qualify will have a $0 premium for April through September 2021, or any months in this 6-month window for which a participants is eligible. Benefitfocus has already issued the April 2021 invoices, therefore, retroactive adjustments will be required for qualified COBRA participants.
While NCFlex is responsible for ensuring qualified members are offered this temporary benefit, employing units will be responsible for reimbursing NCFlex for the cost of the program. Employing units will offset the cost by claiming a credit against Medicare payroll taxes.
NCFlex is working with Benefitfocus to finalize the process for meeting these new requirements and will provide more details as they come about.