IRS to CDC: Hold our drink. Check out the new 41-page COBRA subsidy resource for employers

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I imagine that drink to be Ensure or Ovaltine, possibly Caffeine Free Coke Zero if things get nuts.

Before face masks — or should I say no face masks — there was the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Among other things, the ARPA created a new COBRA premium subsidy — a temporary 100% reduction in the premium that individuals would have to pay when they elect COBRA continuation health coverage following a reduction in hours or involuntary termination of employment.

Back in April, the  U.S. Department of Labor came through with a slew of resources for employers.

Yesterday, the IRS shed new light on the mechanics of the corresponding tax credit for employers and others that maintain group health plans. It’s all in this Notice 2021-31, which provides information regarding the credit calculation, the eligibility of individuals, the premium assistance period, and other information vital to employers, plan administrators, and insurers to understand the credit.

Now, I could lie to you and tell you that I read Notice 2021-31. But, since I’m neither a tax attorney nor an employee benefits specialist, I’ve got bigger fish to fry. Man, I could sure go for some fish and chips. Maybe some of that malt vinegar.

Instead, I’ve got some last-minute prep for today’s special edition of The Employer Handbook Office Hour.

We’ve assembled a group of employment lawyers to answer employer questions about the CDC’s new case mask guidance. Please join me and Gordon BergerAmy Epstein Gluck, and David Renner, my partners from FisherBroyles (the newest member of the Am Law 200!!!) today from 12 – 1 PM ET on Zoom.

You can still register for the event by clicking here. I am not capping the number of registrants. However, only the first 500 attendees get in.

So good luck, don’t @ me, and see you at noon ET!


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