Groom principal Christine Keller spoke with The Washington Post for their article, “The Health 202: It’s taking months for the Labor Department to deliver expanded COBRA benefits.” The article covered the recent expansion of COBRA benefits under the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”), signed into law on March 11, 2021, for involuntary terminations during the coronavirus pandemic and, particularly, the challenges faced during implementation.  Under ARPA, the 100% COBRA premium subsidy for COBRA enrollees began on April 1, 2021; however, enrollees were still charged for their full premiums in April and May due to the fact that Department of Labor guidance was not issued until April 7, 2021 and Internal Revenue Service guidance was not issued until May 18, 2021.  “They shouldn’t be billed for COBRA at all,” said Keller. “Obviously, since it’s taken some time to get rolling, that hasn’t happened.” Although it has not been possible to provide COBRA at no charge as Congress contemplated, in the article, Michael Trupo from the Department of Labor confirms that employers simply need to provide a refund or credit for any amounts employees have been billed.

To read the article, click here.


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