28 January 2009

Potential COBRA Supports

Potential supports for health care, currently being debated in Congress:

Extended COBRA (up to Medicare age) for workers age 55+ and workers with 10+ years with an employer.

Subsidized COBRA (up to 65% of the cost) for people laid off between September 1, 2008, and December 31, 2009 (but probably just for 9 or 12 months).

Extended COBRA with cost limited to 35% (rather than 100%) of the premium.

Entry to Medicaid programs for unemployed, low-income adults.

Incentives to health providers to convert records to electronic systems, which have been shown to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

All these proposals are in play, in the House or the Senate. Emphasis is on people who were/will be laid off in a specific time frame. The need for help resides in a basic COBRA statistic—only 9% or 10% of qualified workers purchase COBRA following separation from a job. The reason is clear: the premiums are too high to cover when the household income has just been slashed.

© 2009 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as professional, legal, financial, or medical advice. Or education advice. Or marital advice. Or even a tip.

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