HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Thursday, March 19, 2009

COBRA Revised

D  Wreck at DailyKos helpfully provides a brief overview of some of the recent changes in COBRA.  It might come in handy when discussing such lovely revisions with your health law class.  The author writes,

    There are nearly 48 million Americans without medical insurance.  Since September 2008, 3.3 million      jobs have been lost.  For the newly unemployed, COBRA provides an opportunity to maintain                 insurance coverage while out of work.  But the cost of COBRA can be staggering, especially in a              household running on limited income.

    In an effort to stem the growth of the uninsured during this recession, the American Recovery and             Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provides up to 9 months of reduced COBRA premiums for workers who are     involuntarily terminated from employment between September 1, 2008, and December 31, 2009. . . .

D Wreck then reviews some of the important provisions, including:

    ARRA provides for a 65% reduction in premium costs for certain COBRA eligible workers for up to nine     months.  Workers who are involuntarily terminated from their employment between September 1, 2008,     and December 31, 2009, are eligible for these reduced premiums.

    Eligible individuals who elect COBRA coverage will pay 35% of the normal COBRA premium.  The         Kaiser Family Foundation 2008 Health Benefits Survey pegs the average single rate at nearly $400 per     month, with family coverage averaging over $1,000 per month.  A 65% reduction equates to an average     savings between $2,340 and $5,850 over a 9 month period. . . .

There is more on the webiste.  I need to so some more reading myself but it does give a person a good starting place.

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