Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Feds subsidize COBRA coverage for recently laid off

According to the Department of Labor, the recently-signed economic stimulus package has provisions that should be of interest to many Americans.

Under the new rules, employees who are laid off between Sept. 1, 2008 and the end of 2009 will be eligible for subsidized medical coverage from the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) program. March is first month of the subsidy program.
Individuals eligible for COBRA coverage who were involuntarily terminated by their employer on or after September 1, 2008 through December 31, 2009 who are eligible for COBRA and elect COBRA may be eligible to pay a reduced premium amount that is only 35% of the premium costs for your COBRA coverage.
Laid off employees who have not yet signed up for COBRA have a 60-day window to apply, starting from the date they receive notification of eligibility. Employees that have already waived their COBRA coverage may revoke their waiver before the end of the 60-day period.

More information is available at the Employee Benefits Security Administration's COBRA continuation page.

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