14 February 2009

The final stimulus plan: COBRA subsidy

Last night's best "fast read" of the stimulus plan is from MSNBC.

I've been tracking the progress of health care insurance provisions, specifically for the two laid-off folks in my immediate family. One will benefit from the stimulus plan; the other won't.

The family member in Texas was laid-off in Spring 2008, which is well ahead of the new support (covering lay-offs in Sept 2008 and later). He might have benefited from another clause but it was removed in the final version of the stimulus package. (That would have allowed COBRA continuation to Medicare age, a plus for people whose insurance under COBRA is less expensive than an individual plan. Typically, that's people who are 60+ years of age.)

The family member on the east coast was laid-off in 2009, and will (presumably) have the support of 65%-subsidized COBRA for 9 months. For the final 9 months of coverage, there will not be a government subsidy. Such a subsidy will especially ease the way for families who routinely see COBRA cost of $1000/month.

(For me? Well, I'm using COBRA at present but that follows a retirement, not a lay-off, in 2008.)

The variety of needs, whether for COBRA or other health insurance, cannot be overstated. The stimulus package will help a lot of people through the COBRA subsidy and also through Medicaid support. But there will also be folks with slightly different needs, in slightly different situations, who will not be served. And, of course, health insurance is just one part of survival after a lay-off.

© 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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