There are 3 ways an AEI may qualify for the subsidy:

  1. The AEI elects COBRA coverage when he/she first becomes eligible for COBRA coverage during the 6-month subsidy period.
  2. The AEI elected COBRA for coverage prior to April 1, 2021, has been paying premiums, remains enrolled in COBRA coverage at any time during the subsidy period, and elects the subsidy.
  3. If the AEI did not elect COBRA coverage previously, or timely elected but discontinued coverage before April 1, 2021, the AEI is entitled to the subsidy if he/she makes an election within the new 60-day Special COBRA Election Period under ARPA. This could include individuals impacted by the Joint Notice “Outbreak Period” under EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01 released by the Department of Labor (DOL).

In each case, a special election form is required which affirms the qualifying event was involuntary employment or a reduction of hours, and that the individual is not eligible for Medicare or any other group health plan, including a spouse’s plan.