Courageous Coverage Proposals for Unemployed in House Stimulous Package

Posted January, 16 2009 by arianne

Manatt Health Solutions found three little-noticed, but excellent, health coverage provisions in the US House of Representatives stimulus bill. Read it here.  A full summary of the House Stimulus proposal can be viewed here

The first would provide $30 billion to pay a 65% subsidy for the first 12 months of COBRA for workers who lost their jobs after September 1, 2008. HCFANY recently issued a press advisory which noted that the average COBRA benefit costs 85% of a New York workers’ monthly unemployment benefits.

The second would extend COBRA from 18 months to 36 months. HCFANY already made this precise recommendation in our State legislative agenda and urges New York State officials to take this step at the State level immediately, just like California did when it its CAL-COBRA program a few years ago. Read HCFANY’s state legislative agenda.

The third proposal would provide 100% federal Medicaid matching funds for laid-off workers whose family income is less than 200% of poverty. HCFANY has proposed a similar Family Health Plus expansion in its 2009 legislative agenda. And the Paterson Administration has proposed a similar measure as well. [See HCFANY blog entry of January 7, 2009]

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