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

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

…we think that intervention should be limited….Our experience tells us that through Blue Cross and Blue Shield and also through a good deal of coverage offered by the commercial carriers there are opportunities for individuals who have been laid off to avail themselves of insurance of one kind or another in many cases.

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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

…we urge you to be sure that these proposals don’t take away the incentive for unemployment claimants to accept part time and temporary jobs when permanent jobs are unavailable. At present, claimants resist such jobs, because earnings from 2 or 3 days of work will often disqualify them from any unemployment benefits. If claimants] lose their health insurance for weeks in which they are disqualified from unemployment benefits, they will have even less incentive to accept work when it is available.

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Eric J. Oxfield, Employee Benefits Attorney, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Testimony, Senate Finance Committee.
04/21/1983 | Full Details | Law(s): COBRA

...we remind you that unemployment compensation is not a poverty program. Some claimants have substantial assets. For example, 1979 income tax records reflect more than 1 ½ million tax returns reporting adjusted gross income of $20,000 or higher and also receipt of unemployment compensation. Moreover, when unemployment benefits are combined with other income-support programs, some claimants actually come out better than when they were working.

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Eric J. Oxfield, Employee Benefits Attorney, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Testimony, Senate Finance Committee.
04/21/1983 | Full Details | Law(s): COBRA