Bob Balaban December 25 2009 11:03:13 PMGreetings, Geeks!
Last April I published some info in this bloc about how people (US residents) who had been laid off and who had adopted the COBRA insurance continuation plan could receive a US Government subsidy of their monthly premiums.
At the time, the subsidies were only for a maximum of 9 months, most peoples' (including mine) expired at the end of November, meaning that the December premium went back up to full rate.
However! The US Congress recently passed an extension to the subsity program. This was not related to the "health care reform bill" passed by the US Senate yesterday, it's a different bill. What I heard on the news is that the extension is valid for an additional 6 months, although I'm not completely sure about that.
I phoned the administrator of my COBRA plan, and the nice lady I talked to there said she knew about the extension, and that they were working on implementing the change to their billing systems. In my case (YMMV) this means that I have to pay the full amount for a couple of months, then when they get caught up with the new law, they'll credit the amount of the subsidy for the months I've already paid to future payments.
This is great news, the subsidy is worth a lot of money (to me, anyway). Of course, remember that COBRA plans in general are only valid for 18 months, after which you have to go get another provider, or signup for another plan (either through a new employer, if you have one, or individually).
As always, don't take anything I say about this (or anything!) as gospel. Check it out for yourselves.
Merry Christmas to all, and a Happy New Year. And remember: "War is over, if you want it." (John Lennon).
Geek ya later!
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