COBRA and continuation subsidy requirements under the American Rescue Plan Act ARPA

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 includes requirements for premium payment assistance to certain COBRA or state continuation eligible individuals. All employers subject to federal COBRA or state continuation must offer temporary assistance for employees on continuation coverage from Apr 1–Sep 30 of 2021.

Employers must cover COBRA/continuation premiums for these assistance eligible individuals for the temporary time period. In return, the federal government will be subsidizing employers for these payments on quarterly tax forms as tax credits. After Sep 30, 2021, employers can continue to charge assistance eligible individuals the regular COBRA/continuation premiums.

While Gusto and its COBRA administrator BASIC Pacific will assist as possible, employers subject to state continuation or who do not use BASIC will be responsible for ensuring eligible participants receive the correct notices and filings for tax credits.