Supporting our employer customers
American Rescue Plan Act COBRA Premium Subsidy
The American Rescue Plan Act is a federal law that includes a temporary program to subsidize 100% of premium costs for individuals on COBRA between April 1 and September 30, 2021. While COBRA is overseen by the federal government, these subsidies also apply to mini-COBRA for 2-19 employees that is regulated by the Massachusetts Division of Insurance.
Who qualifies for the temporary subsidy program?
To qualify for assistance, an individual must first be eligible for COBRA because of an involuntary termination or a reduction in hours. He or she must not be eligible for coverage through another group health plan (for example through a spouse or new employer). The individual also must elect COBRA. An individual must not be enrolled or eligible for coverage through Medicare.
Who covers the cost of the temporary subsidy?
- Fully and self-insured employers with 20 or more employees are required to cover the cost of the subscriber premium, but may then seek reimbursement through a credit on their federal payroll tax filing.
- For fully insured employers with 2-19 employees, Mass General Brigham Health Plan will pay the subscriber premium for mini-COBRA.
For more information, contact your Mass General Brigham Health Plan sales or account executive, see this federal FAQ or see this Massachusetts information on mini-cobra.
Virtual urgent care, testing and treatment coverage
Mass General Brigham Health Plan is committed to ensuring timely access to critical health care services for coronavirus (COVID-19) that our members may need during this public health emergency.
Learn about our coverage policies for COVID-19 testing and treatment.
Premium billing and enrollment
Mass General Brigham Health Plan has created the following guidelines to support you during this challenging time:
Options to help avoid coverage termination
- Buy-down options. You may change your coverage to a level that allows you to lower your monthly premium costs outside of your typical renewal period (once per plan year).
Furloughs or decreased hours
- Relaxing the working eligibility participation guidelines during the public health emergency for employees who are furloughed or experience decreased hours, and who are willing and able to pay premiums, provided all employees within a class are treated equally.
Federal COBRA coverage and HIPAA Special Enrollment
COBRA coverage is available if the business is still considered active with at least one covered employee. You must determine whether employees are considered active/working employees. If there are no employees remaining (i.e., employees were terminated and not continued in employment status while on furlough or leave), COBRA is not an option. Members may have additional COBRA election rights and HIPAA special enrollment rights during the public health emergency. Please contact us if you would like more information.
Additional resources during this public health emergency
Here are a few helpful resources on government support for small businesses at this time:
More information about COVID-19
Visit the Mass General Brigham Health Plan COVID-19 Resource Center to learn how we're supporting our community during the pandemic, and get answers to common COVID-19 questions.
Our Broker & Account Services team are here to answer any of your questions Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Thursdays 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM.