Federal COBRA Premium Subsidy Expired August 31, 2011
On August 31, 2011, the COBRA continuation premium subsidy ended. Former employees who want to maintain their COBRA coverage during any remaining COBRA continuation coverage period will now be responsible for the full 100 percent of their premium payments.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 signed into law on February 17, 2009 provided a government subsidy to COBRA participants. The government subsidy of 65% of the monthly COBRA premium amount (including the 2% administrative fee) for up to 15 months was available to any individual involuntarily terminated from employment between September 1, 2008 and March 31, 2010. Since that time, the COBRA subsidy has been extended to individuals involuntarily terminated through May 31, 2010. No congressional acts for extending the COBRA subsidy have been proposed. As a result, the last subsidy-eligible COBRA participants who were involuntarily terminated on May 31, 2010 will see their government subsidy ending on August 31, 2011.
Here are a few things you can do to stay covered while you make your transition to your next job:
Short term insurance: These kinds of plans allow you to choose between 1-12 months of coverage. You can extend it if you need to. They also offer different deductibles, which enable you to work with the price, the higher the deductible the cheaper the premium. A family of 4 living in and (parents in their middle 30’s and two children under 10) might pay $120-$556 in monthly premiums for a six month plan.
Individual health insurance: If you are not sure how long you need coverage or may need coverage for more than 12 months, you can purchase an individual health policy. These plans never expire and there is no contract so you can cancel them at any time.
Here is our link that provides individual plan options, quotes, and applications:
If you have a pre-existing condition: You may qualify for the your state’s high risk pool. In Illinois, http://www.chip.state.il.us/default.htm for more information. These premiums are significantly higher. Those who qualify might purchase an individual plan for themselves and apply for a less expensive, short term plan for other family members.