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What Causes Delays in Receiving Stimulus's COBRA Subsidies

Armen Hareyan's picture
COBRA Health Insurance

Kaiser Health News and Washington Post examine delays in receiving stimulus's COBRA subsidies.

Kaiser Health News/Washington Post on Tuesday examined how some people who qualify for the economic stimulus package's COBRA subsidies are still waiting for the "lifeline." According to Kaiser Health News/Post, the "situation offers a glimpse of the difficulties in pushing through any changes in the nation's health care system," which experts say will inevitably be delayed (Schmitt, Kaiser Health News/Washington Post, 4/7).

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Under the stimulus package, workers involuntarily terminated between Sept. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2009, whose annual incomes do not exceed $125,000 for individuals or $250,000 for families qualify for subsidies to cover 65% of the cost of premiums under COBRA for as long as nine months (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 3/20). Kaiser Health News/Post reports that in some cases those subsidies might "not fully kick in until this summer, and even then they may not be steep enough to make insurance affordable for many" unemployed workers.

The article, touching on COBRA health insurance, highlights the experience of an employee who was laid off in November and has had difficulty obtaining the subsidy (Kaiser Health News/Washington Post, 4/7).

This story was produced through a collaboration between the Washington Post and Kaiser Health News. KHN is an independent news service that provides coverage of the policy and politics of health care. KHN is a service of the Kaiser Family Foundation.