On March 2, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Temporary Extension Act of 2010 which addresses the COBRA subsidy and extends the time employees may file for Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation. Under COBRA, the new law extends coverage for those involuntarily terminated from March 1 through March 31, 2010, the eligibility period for the 15 month, 65 percent premium subsidy. It also permits employees to receive the subsidy if they initially lost their group coverage to to a reduction in work hours and then were terminated after the enactment of this bill. The law also extends the time period during which terminated employees may file for Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation from February 28 to April 5, 2010, and extends the time period during which they may claim and be paid emergency unemployment compensation from July 31 to September 4, 2010.
Practice pointer. Congress is still considering legislation to extend these programs through 2010. Since these benefits were due to expire, and Congress could not agree on a longer term extension, this short term extension was passed so Congress can continue to explore a longer term extension.