COBRA Catch 22

When President Obama’s stimulus bill—the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—was passed, a much-lauded provision in the legislation that allows laid-off employees to get COBRA health insurance through their former employers at 65% off went into effect. Sounds like a great deal, right? Well, there is just one little catch. The government has no intention of being out any money, so the employer is on the hook for that outstanding 65% of the premium. The employee pays the other 35%.  April 18th, 2009 is the deadline for employers to mail out the notices to eligible employees who have been laid off since September 1st, 2008. The coverage itself is retroactive to March 1st, 2009. This means employees must pay their 35 percent share on three months of COBRA premiums through May. In other words, they have to pay 3 months worth of premiums.  In an article on Workforce.com, Jennifer Kluge, COO o... [Read Full Article]