COBRA

COBRA

What we commonly refer to as COBRA, short-term health insurance for the unemployed, was included in the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985.   It grants workers and their families the option to keep their group insurance health benefits for up to 18 months (although the exact time may vary depending on a number of factors). COBRA enables a worker to purchase health insurance through their ex-employer, if they are subject to a “qualifying event”, even though they no longer work there. A qualifying event includes the end of employment for any reason other than “gross misconduct”, or a reduction in work hours (again for anything other than gross misconduct). Only employers with 20 or more workers are subject to COBRA.

Cry Wolf Quotes

We believe that the experience of the last few years teaches that in addressing problems of health care financing we should try at all costs to avoid the establishment of new Federal or State bureaucracies and regulatory regimes. We, further, should avoid the creation of new Government entitlement programs, the addition of new financial burdens on the Federal Health care budget, or the distortion of the marketplace by eliminating choice or reducing competition in health care.

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Don Bliss, Esq., National Association of Manufacturers, Testimony, Senate Finance Committee.
04/21/1983 | Full Details | Law(s): COBRA

Finally, we vigorously oppose proposals that would mandate a minimum benefit package. This requirement goes beyond the problem being addressed and infringes on the right of employers and employees to develop the kind of health care coverage they want and can afford at a time when employers and employees are being very creative in the design and are negotiating a very hard line with the providers and carriers of health care for more cost effective health care plans. Such a requirement would be particularly onerous to small businesses, which have been most severely affected by the recent recession.

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Jan Peter Ozga, Director of Health Care, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Testimony, Senate Finance Committee.
04/21/1983 | Full Details | Law(s): COBRA

There certainly is a segment of the employer population that has a philosophical opposition to Government’s role here. There are others who are concerned about return-to-work disincentives, or the incongruous nature of cutting Medicare and Medicaid while adding new programs. And there are others who would like to have problem world be [sic] resolved through a voluntary, charity-based approach. We believe that whatever is required of employers should not create disincentive for the growing number of voluntary and negotiated plans, and it certainly should not impose such a burden that the provisions of basic medical insurance will be reduced, be that for small employers, or that the unemployment figures themselves will be increased for larger employers.

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Willis B. Goldbeck, President, Washington Business Group on Health, Testimony, Senate Finance Committee.
04/21/1983 | Full Details | Law(s): COBRA

Let us go on the record as saying we believe that this program should be temporary. Clearly, we share with the chairman [Senator Bob Dole] the belief that the general economy is not by tomorrow going to turn upside down, and during the time in which it takes to do that, this program should be in place. But it should indeed be temporary. It should have a limited scope. Indeed, we are not in a position in this country today to institute another Cadillac-care program when it is not necessary…Certainly we do not wish to see this become another entitlement program…”

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Dr. James Sammons, of the American Medical Association, Joseph F. Boyle, M.D., Chairman of the Board of Trustees, American Medical Association, Executive Vice President and Harry Peterson, Director, Testimony, Senate Finance Committee.
04/21/1983 | Full Details | Law(s): COBRA