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

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

Eligibility for such a program must be limited in scope….Individuals should be excluded if coverage can be obtained by another family member who is eligible for employer-based coverage or is eligible for continuation of an employer-offered health benefit plan. In addition, persons who are eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, or other government programs should be required to use such coverage. Stating this more generally, the new benefit should be secondary to other coverage.

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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

…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