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View More EBRI [Employee Benefit Research Institute] Webcasts and Conferences

COBRA: Are Subsidies Needed?

EBRI [Employee Benefit Research Institute]

Aug. 4, 2020
Recorded Online
Webcast

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the economy, creating widespread job loss and disrupting health coverage for millions of Americans. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, more commonly known as COBRA, allows recently separated workers to continue their enrollment in employer-sponsored health insurance, with the former employee covering the full premium. The availability of COBRA subsidies could help prevent health coverage loss for millions of displaced workers.

The recently passed CARES Act and the proposed HEROES Act have provisions that make it more appealing for unemployed workers to claim COBRA benefits, which can be a benefit to the newly unemployed and their families. But COBRA benefits are unique in that potential beneficiaries do not have to elect coverage immediately after separating from an employer. Potentially, only those who have high medical expenses, or have a desire to cover a spouse or dependent that does, will elect coverage. However, subsidies may not be necessary with the availability of subsidized coverage through the ACA marketplace. In this webinar we will discuss the considerations that will go into deciding – are COBRA subsidies needed?

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