With the state of the economy and the growing jobless rate families are being left with difficult choices to make. Often times when an income is lost, due to layoff, termination, or circumstance health benefits are also lost. But going without health insurance when you have children is not a risk worth taking.
Cobra insurance is not, traditionally, known for its affordability. But under the 2009 Stimulus Bill qualified laid off workers are only responsible for 35% of the insurance premiums. So are you eligible and how do you apply?
In order to be eligible for lower COBRA premiums, under the new stimulus package, you must have been laid off from a job or terminated against your will (with the exception of firing).
The government subsidy for COBRA health insurance, under Obama's stimulus package, applies only to individuals who lost (or will lose) their jobs between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009
Eligibility in the program is limited to individuals who make less than $125,000 or families with a combined income of less than $250k a year.
To enroll in the government COBRA stimulus plan former employees must contact their former employer's Human Resources department. Workers who lost their jobs, prior to the passing of the stimulus bill on February 17, 2009 (but not before September 1, 2008) have 60 days from the passing date to re-apply for COBRA. This includes those individuals who initially declined Cobra health insurance coverage after being laid off.
The reduced premiums on Cobra health, vision and dental coverage, under the stimulus package, will end after nine months or when the individual is covered by another medical insurance plan (either through a new employer, Medicare or a spouse's coverage) which ever comes first.
If you do not qualify for cheaper Cobra insurance premiums, you may still be able to find cheap or short term health insurance for your family.