Updated on 5/18/21

What is the ARPA COBRA Subsidy?

The ARPA COBRA subsidy allows for certain Assistance Eligible Individuals (AEI) to receive a subsidy for COBRA coverage between April 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021. This allows for the following:

  • 100% COBRA subsidy for the period of April 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021.
  • Qualified Beneficiaries (QB) that did not previously elect COBRA, or previously elected COBRA, but are still in their 18-month window of COBRA eligibility can elect to start coverage, provided they are Assistance Eligible Individuals.


Who is qualified? 

The ARPA Subsidy applies to Assistance Eligible Individuals (AEI). To qualify, a participant must meet and attest to all the following criteria:

Qualified Beneficiaries (QB) with a COBRA event type of Involuntary Termination of Employment or Reduction in Hours, including qualified dependents (spouse or children) covered at the time of the initial Qualified Event.

Subsidy Disqualifying Event: If an assistance-eligible individual becomes eligible (just eligible, not actually covered) under any of the following plans, the subsidy ends.

  • Any other group health plan, such a new employer plan or a spouse’s plan (other than excepted benefits, which includes dental, health FSA, or QSEHRA coverage)
  • Medicare


How can I claim the subsidy?

If you believe you are eligible for the subsidy based on the criteria stated, you can submit an attestation and/or second election request at

What plans qualify for a subsidy?

The subsidy applies to Medical, Dental, Vision, and Employee Assistance Programs (EAP). The subsidy applies only to plans that were in force at the time of the Qualifying Event.

Is this subsidy taxable to me?

The subsidy is not taxable to the beneficiary.

Can I start new coverage effective April 1st? 

Yes. Even if COBRA coverage was not elected previously or coverage was elected and has since been terminated, Assistance Eligible Individuals can re-elect under this law effective April 1, 2021. The online attestation form accounts for this and requests all the information needed to process an election beginning April 1st

How will communication be sent? 

Notices are sent via mail to the mailing address in the Vita Member Portal.