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

…the chamber remains committed to sound policies that will improve the economy and promote employment. We also remain committed to promoting the solvency of the States’ beleaguered unemployment insurance fund….First, the problem of lack of health insurance for the unemployed will abate as the economy continues to improve and unemployment is reduced. A continuation of the trend toward a reduction in taxation, regulation, and interest rates will help to achieve the dual goal of fuller employment and protection against health care costs.

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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

As we devise legislation of this kind, my observation through the years has been that we tend to work at the Federal end of the chain. We will put the money in the Federal end, and it’s almost always on the assumption that the party at the very other end gets his full cost. If there ever was a circumstance under which you wanted the various parties and participants to share, this is the circumstance. I would again come back to fostering and leaving opportunities open for encouraging initiatives on the part of the insurance underwriters, providers, and communities to share in the cost of this problem. Don’t make it so easy. Don’t just give 100 percent Federal money. Somebody has got to start giving on the chain.

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Bruce Cardwell, Executive Vice President, Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association, Chicago,Testimony, Senate Finance Committee.
04/21/1983 | Full Details | Law(s): COBRA

Governments at all levels are already financially strapped. A national program must not be self-defeating, i.e., it should not so increase the deficit structure as to impede economic recovery. The country’s main objective must remain a return to a healthy economic condition. This is the main problem facing the unemployed.

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

All too often such well-intended Federal programs simply fuel the flames of spiraling health care cost inflation, diffuse the concentration of limited Federal dollars on the truly medically needy who must rely on Government entitlements for any medical care, and exacerbate the rising uncontrollable element in the Federal deficit which we must get under control if we are going to put people back to work—which is the real objective that would meet the problem addressed by this committee.

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