Saturday, October 31, 2009

Kaiser Provides Issue Brief on COBRA Subsidy for the Unemployed

Updated Issue Brief Examines the COBRA Subsidy and Health Insurance for the Unemployed
With the nation's unemployment rate rising to its highest levels in decades as a result of the recession, many families have lost their employer-sponsored health coverage or are at risk of doing so. In an effort to help people maintain coverage after a layoff, the stimulus legislation known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides temporary subsidies to some workers so that they can maintain their previous employer-sponsored coverage through COBRA after losing their job. The Foundation's KCMU has an updated issue brief that examines the COBRA provisions of the legislation and answers key questions about how the subsidy works and who might benefit. It also explains how the provisions interact with other laws and programs designed to help people obtain and maintain health coverage, and it discusses other coverage options for the unemployed. In late 2009, subsidies began to expire for those who were among the first to apply for the assistance, forcing them to pay the full cost of their insurance or look elsewhere for help. The issue brief is available online.

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