Sunday, April 5, 2009

Insurance Aid for the Newly Unemployed

Individuals who lost their jobs in the last several months may be eligible for employer-sponsored health insurance coverage at greatly reduced rates. The federal government will pay 65% of Cobra continuation coverage premiums as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which was signed into law on Feb. 17. The coverage will apply to individuals who lost or lose their jobs between Sept. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2009 and are eligible for continuing coverage under Cobra, a federal law called the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. The new subsidy "makes Cobra much more affordable for a lot of people," says Scott Keyes, a senior health-care consultant at Watson Wyatt, a consulting firm. He expects participation could double or triple.
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