The federal stimulus package delivers newly unemployed workers some much-needed relief by subsidizing health insurance purchased through COBRA - the law that allows workers to keep their employer-provided health insurance for up to 18 months after they leave their jobs. But for some folks, COBRA plans may prove too expensive - even with the government subsidy.
Fortunately, unemployed workers have other options for maintaining coverage. The stimulus package also allows people to switch to a less expensive employer-sponsored plan, if available, when they become COBRA-eligible. And folks who opt for a cheaper employer-sponsored policy through COBRA are still eligible for the new government subsidy.
This provision will help many find a policy that fits within their budget. Laid-off workers should be sure to take advantage.
Executive vice president and CEO
National Association of Health Underwriters