Text: S.3393 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (05/20/2010)


111th CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 3393


To provide for extension of COBRA continuation coverage until coverage is available otherwise under either an employment-based health plan or through an American Health Benefit Exchange under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 20, 2010

Mr. Brown of Ohio introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions


A BILL

To provide for extension of COBRA continuation coverage until coverage is available otherwise under either an employment-based health plan or through an American Health Benefit Exchange under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “COBRA Health Benefits Extension Act of 2010”.

SEC. 2. Extension of COBRA continuation coverage.

(a) Extension of current periods of continuation coverage.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—In the case of any individual who is, under a COBRA continuation coverage provision, covered under COBRA continuation coverage on or after the date of the enactment of this Act, the required period of any such coverage which has not subsequently terminated under the terms of such provision for any reason other than the expiration of a period of a specified number of months shall, notwithstanding such provision and subject to subsection (b), extend to the earlier of—

(A) the first date, occurring after the date of the expiration of a period of months specified as a terminating event in the applicable continuation coverage provision, as of which the individual is eligible for coverage under an employment-based health plan, or

(B) the date on which such individual becomes eligible for health insurance coverage through an American Health Benefit Exchange operating in a State or group of States under subtitle D of title I of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

(2) NOTICE.—As soon as practicable after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Labor, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall provide rules setting forth the form and manner in which prompt notice to individuals of the continued availability of COBRA continuation coverage to such individuals under paragraph (1).

(3) ENFORCEMENT OF EXTENDED CONTINUATION COVERAGE UNDER STATE PROGRAMS.—A State may enforce the provisions of this section with respect to COBRA continuation coverage provided under a State program of such State. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to affect or modify section 514 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. 1144).

(b) Continued effect of other terminating events.—Notwithstanding subsection (a), any required period of COBRA continuation coverage which is extended under such subsection shall terminate upon the occurrence, prior to the date of termination otherwise provided in such subsection, of any terminating event specified in the applicable continuation coverage provision other than the expiration of a period of a specified number of months.

(c) Definitions.—For purposes of this section—

(1) COBRA CONTINUATION COVERAGE.—The term “COBRA continuation coverage” means continuation coverage provided pursuant to part 6 of subtitle B of title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (other than under section 609), title XXII of the Public Health Service Act, section 4980B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (other than subsection (f)(1) of such section insofar as it relates to pediatric vaccines), or section 905a of title 5, United States Code, or under a State program that provides comparable continuation coverage. Such term does not include coverage under a health flexible spending arrangement under a cafeteria plan within the meaning of section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

(2) COBRA CONTINUATION PROVISION.—The term “COBRA continuation provision” means the provisions of law described in paragraph (1).

(3) EMPLOYMENT-BASED HEALTH PLAN.—The term “employment-based health plan”—

(A) means a group health plan (as defined in section 733(a)(1) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974), excluding coverage consisting of only dental, vision, counseling, or referral services (or a combination thereof), coverage under a flexible spending arrangement (as defined in section 106(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986), or coverage of treatment that is furnished in an on-site medical facility maintained by the employer and that consists primarily of first-aid services, prevention and wellness care, or similar care (or a combination thereof); and

(B) includes such a plan that is the following:

(i) FEDERAL, STATE, AND TRIBAL GOVERNMENTAL PLANS.—A governmental plan (as defined in section 3(32) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974), including a health benefits plan offered under chapter 89 of title 5, United States Code.

(ii) CHURCH PLANS.—A church plan (as defined in section 3(33) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974).

(4) STATE.—The term “State” includes the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.