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Capitol Correspondence - 04.12.21

Department of Labor Issues Guidance on COBRA, Invites Dialogue on Equity in Disability Employment

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To help our members comply with their obligations as employers and stay abreast of important national conversations, we flag two announcements from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

 DOL issued guidance on COBRA. Specifically, the guidance focuses on implementing the American Rescue Plan’s Continuation of Health Coverage premium assistance provisions to provide full COBRA premium assistance to certain individuals who have experienced a reduction in hours or involuntary termination of employment. This would be relevant to the Direct Support Professional workforce.

 COBRA allows employees and their families who would otherwise lose their group health coverage due to certain life events to continue their group health coverage, known as COBRA continuation coverage.

 DOL opens national dialogue on equity in employment for people with disabilities from historically underserved communities. This is “a two-week national online dialogue to gather ideas for ensuring equity in employment policies and programs for people with disabilities from historically underserved communities. Those seeking to participate should register at RacialEquity.ideascale.com.

 The department will use input received between April 12 and April 26 to help identify strategies for dismantling systemic barriers to employment and participation in workforce services that people with disabilities from diverse backgrounds, communities and identities face. This group includes communities of color, religious minorities, LGBTQ+ persons, rural communities and those otherwise affected by persistent poverty or inequality.”