Great News for Your Laid-Off Life: COBRA Way Cheaper Now, Thanks to Stimulus
For anyone who's been canned since September, here's some decent news. COBRA-that confusing program that lets you continue your health insurance for a buttload of money after you've lost (or left) your gig-just got better.Since the bill was passed in 1985, the rule was, employers had to inform you of your right to extend your insurance after you leave. A right, mind you, that would cost you your entire premium, often to the tune of $400 a month or more. Now, thanks to the stimulus, employees' premiums will go down by 65%.Besides being a huge saving to those already enrolled, it will also likely increase the number of people who sign up in the first place (thus decreasing the terrifyingly high number of uninsureds in the country: A recent report by the Center for American Progress found that 14,000 Americans were losing health coverage every day). Also a boon to workers is the fact that those who had previously chosen not to enroll because it was so pricey still can at the new low rate. Subsidies take effect on March 1.Your former employer is forced by law to send you the paperwork, but if they don't, report them (just kidding). If 60 days pass and you hear nothing, contact the Department of Labor. And for more information, click here.