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As part of the American Recovery Reinvestment Act (Stimulus Bill) of 2009, signed by President Obama, was a health insurance premium break.  If you were laid off from your job and fit the criteria outlined in the law you could qualify for 65% reduction in your Cobra premium.

Prior to the Stimulus, Cobra premiums were whatever they were when you were with your company, except instead of your company paying their portion, you paid it all.  There was also a 4% administrative fee.  Cobra, was often time unaffordable and many people went without insurance. 

As of August 31, 2011 the 65% subsidy has expired.  Cobra is back the way it used to be prior to 2009.

There are other ways to get covered by health insurance.  Many times if you are healthy enough to qualify you can get an individual insurance plan.  These plans are usually the best option because they are permanent.  You can keep them forever, and if you get another job that does not offer benefits, you do not really care, because you have your insurance.  If you get a job that offers benefits, you have the luxery of comparing the two plans to see which one is right for you.

Before you accept your COBRA, contact a licensed health insurance specialist to discuss your needs.


Thanks for reading!!

Eric Wilson is President of I Sell Health, Inc. A Chicago area company.  He represents clients in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Ohio.

Please call him with any questions at 888-448-5370 or online at