Unemployment Update: House passes COBRA Subsidy Extension…

Finally!!!!  Now we need action in the Senate. It feels like the first time the House has done something for the real people doesn’t it?? How about some Lou Gramm Foreigner-Unplugged

WorkforceManagement:

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation Wednesday, December 16, that would extend the federal subsidy of COBRA health insurance premiums for employees who are involuntarily terminated.Embedded in H.R. 3326, a measure appropriating funds for the Department of Defense, the nine-month, 65 percent premium subsidy would be extended by six months to a total of 15 months. It would apply to those who lose their jobs through February 28, 2010. Under current law, employees who lose their jobs after December 31 are ineligible for the subsidy.

The measure, approved on 395-34 vote, also would provide an additional six months of subsidized coverage for beneficiaries whose nine-month COBRA premium subsidy has run out.

In addition, the legislation would give beneficiaries whose subsidy ran out and who didn’t pay the full premium a second chance to opt for coverage. For example, a beneficiary whose nine months of subsidized coverage ran out November 30 and who didn’t pay the regular unsubsidized December premium could pay the 35 percent premium share in January and receive coverage for December.

The legislation would require employers to notify current COBRA beneficiaries and future beneficiaries of the new 15-month premium subsidy.

The House is also expected to take up another appropriations bill, H.R. 2847, with a provision that would extend the premium subsidy to those who lose their jobs through June 30, 2010.

More on COBRA and other available resources for those who may have lost it, are losing it awaiting the Senate to take action, or cannot afford it courtesy of the WSJ:

…a companion bill has been introduced in the Senate that also would extend the Cobra subsidy for six months, up to a total of 15 months, and increase the subsidy to 75%. But it’s not known if the legislation will pass or even come to a vote….

…Many unemployed workers who first started receiving the Cobra subsidy in March lost it as of Nov. 30, and many more will start losing the subsidy this month. Workers whose Cobra eligibility begins on or after Jan. 1, 2010 won’t get the subsidy even if they’re terminated by Dec. 31, unless Congress extends the law (UPDATE from MiM: HOUSE has extended, waiting on Senate)

CONTINUES AFTER THE BREAK:

(more…)

Advertisements

December 17, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Economy, Healthcare, Politics, Unemployment Statistics. 3 comments.

%d bloggers like this: