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

Many options already exist to provide unemployed persons with health insurance or protection against health care costs. These include: continuous coverage provisions in many employer-paid health care plans; the conversion privilege offered in many of these same plans: coverage under a spouse’s or other relative’s plan; and the social safety net, Medicaid.

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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

…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

In our view, any program created should be temporary. It should remain in place for a limited period of time with a sunset provision. Such a requirement would establish the need for Congress and the nation to reevaluate the continuation of or modifications to the program on a regular basis rather than creating another ‘untouchable’ entitlement program.

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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

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