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Does anyone know about health insurance cobra since the bailout?

We have to cobra our health insurance (my dh was laid off) and we just got the paperwork. I thought part of the bailout was that the gov't would pay 65% of cobra costs for people who lose their jobs, but we're being billed for it in full (actually, we are being billed at 102%, but whatever...). So how does this 65% work? How do we get that money?


Asked by Anonymous at 3:04 PM on Mar. 7, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), the financial stimulus law signed by President Barack Obama on Feb. 17, 2009, includes significant changes to the COBRA continuation coverage rules. In general, the ARRA:

    * Provides a 65 percent federal government subsidy of COBRA continuation coverage premiums for a maximum of nine months for certain individuals who are COBRA qualified beneficiaries because of a covered employee’s involuntary termination of employment.

    * Requires employers to pay the 65 percent portion upfront, and then allows them to deduct those costs from their Social Security and Medicare taxes (see Claiming the New COBRA Premium Credit on Payroll Tax Forms).

    * Retroactively allows workers who became jobless as early as Sept. 1, 2008, and rejected COBRA coverage to reconsider and receive COBRA benefits.


    Answer by Fiveofakind2 at 6:36 PM on Mar. 7, 2009

  • ask the sheriff, joe biden at

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:05 PM on Mar. 7, 2009

  • OP here... Yeah, we've been online, and it's totally confusing and not at all helpful. And we have to take care of this asap so we don't end up with a lapse in coverage... If worse comes to worse, we'll just pay it. But we're talking about a LOT of cash here, so I'd rather not if I don't have to.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:07 PM on Mar. 7, 2009

  • I thought I heard that the 65% was supposed to go to your employer and then there was some paperwork and you would get reimbursed? I'm not sure at all, but have you asked the employer that you're getting the Cobra through?

    Answer by bethany169 at 4:26 PM on Mar. 7, 2009

  • OP again - They seem to have their heads up their collective butts (the employer). The company was sold, hence the layoffs, and the "transitional team" is really remarkably incompetent.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:00 PM on Mar. 7, 2009

  • * Extends COBRA continuation coverage periods for certain individuals receiving Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits or pension benefits from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.

    Plan administrators of group health care plans subject to COBRA need to act quickly to:

    * Implement administrative procedures necessary to provide the subsidy.

    * Provide notices required by the ARRA to COBRA qualified beneficiaries who are eligible for the subsidy.

    * Implement the extended COBRA coverage periods.

    In addition, group health plan documents will need to be amended to incorporate these changes.
    Begins March 1, 2009.

    You need to call your HR department.

    Answer by Fiveofakind2 at 6:37 PM on Mar. 7, 2009

  • Everyone has to comply.

    Answer by Fiveofakind2 at 6:37 PM on Mar. 7, 2009