What is ARPA and how could it affect me?
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package intended to speed up the U.S. recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, was signed into law on March 11, 2021.
As a part of this package, the federal government will subsidize 100% of COBRA premiums for Assistance Eligible Individuals (AEIs) – individuals and families who lost coverage because of involuntary termination or reduction in hours. The subsidy applies for up to six months of coverage from April 2021 through September 2021 – unless the individual’s maximum COBRA period expires earlier.
Am I eligible for a subsidy?
To be considered an Assistance Eligible Individual (AEI), you must meet the criteria below:
- You lost coverage due to involuntary termination or employment or a reduction in hours.
- You are still within the COBRA eligible period (18 months) as of April 1, 2021 or become eligible for COBRA continuation coverage on or after April 1, 2021.
- You have not become eligible for coverage under another employer’s group health plan or Medicare.
- You are eligible to continue at least one medical, dental, vision, HRA, or EAP plan.
If you were eligible to continue your coverage but chose not to elect or allowed your coverage to lapse, you are still eligible for the subsidy – you will have the opportunity to make a new election during an Extended Election Period if you are still within your maximum COBRA period.
What will I get in the mail?
The notices and forms that will be sent to you in the mail will depend on the current status of your coverage and when your loss of coverage was reported to us.
- If your loss of coverage was reported to Flyte before May 13, 2021, you will receive an AEI Subsidy Eligible Notice with an attestation form that must be completed and returned.
- If you are entitled to an Extended Election Period because you are not currently continuing your coverage, your AEI Subsidy Eligible Notice will also include paperwork to make a new election.
- If your loss of coverage was reported to Flyte after May 13, 2021, you will receive a COBRA Specific Rights Notice with AEI General Notification.
- Before your premium assistance comes to an end, you will receive an AEI Subsidy Expiration Notice.
- If your status as an AEI is changed from Eligible to Ineligible, you will receive an AEI Denial Notice.
What will I need to return to Flyte HCM?
The forms that you will need to return to Flyte will vary based on the status of your coverage and if you wish to take advantage of the subsidy.
- If all your eligible coverage is still active, you will only need to return the Attestation form to confirm that you have not become eligible for coverage under another employer’s group health plan or Medicare.
- If you do not have active continued coverage but wish to take advantage of the subsidy, you will need to complete the second election paperwork that will be mailed to you with the AEI Subsidy Eligible Notice. You will also need to return the attestation form to confirm that you have not become eligible for coverage under another employer’s group health plan or Medicare.
Should I pay my premiums?
Flyte HCM is unable to confirm whether you are eligible for the subsidy until your employer or former employer has updated the COBRA Account Manager system and your Attestation form has been returned to us.
Will I get a refund if I have paid my premiums?
Yes – if you are an Assistance Eligible Individual (AEI) who has paid their premiums for April – September, Flyte HCM will issue refund(s) to you for those premiums once all paperwork is submitted to confirm your eligibility.