Joint Effort

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Archive for February 20th, 2009

Subsidizing COBRA Is Not Enough!

Subsidizing COBRA Is Not Enough–We Need Single Payer
By Andrew Coates, MD–

COBRA is a law that allows you to keep your employer-sponsored health insurance for 18 months if you lose or change jobs. To do so, you have to pay 102% of the cost (the full premium plus a 2% surcharge).

The stimulus package just passed provides for laid off workers, who had health insurance on the job, to receive a subsidy of 65% of the health insurance premium for up to nine months.

According to a report by FamiliesUSA, the national average unemployment benefit is $1,278 monthly. Under COBRA, national family coverage averages $1,069 per month. So laid off workers, in order to keep health insurance for their families, will have to pay more than $375 a month but after nine months will have to come up with the full $1,069.

To keep family coverage under COBRA, with the subsidy, it will cost people who are laid off, on average, almost one-third of every unemployment check. This money will go to a health insurance company, instead of food, housing and school expenses for the family.  (Read the whole story)

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