Assessment on COBRA Subsidies under the Gap Recovery Act

As the unemployment rate grows at an increasing rate and the economy slowly spirals south, health care reform has become a prominent matter for many Americans at this time. As the nation’s unemployment rate tops nearly 10 percent, many people’s access to healthcare is unstable whether they are employed, unemployed, or terminated. President Barack Obama signed and put into action the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on February 17, 2009. This Act contains an economic stimulus package based on measures that provide healthcare in the wake of economic recession. Among the measures listed in the Act, there is a provisional COBRA premium subsidy that is offered to individuals that are currently unemployed that provides monetary assistance. Under the Recovery Act, all individuals (along with family member beneficiaries) who were terminated involuntarily in between the months of September 2008 and December 2009 are eligible to receive financial support up to 65 percent from the COBRA premium within a 9-month period. The financial support aided by the government through the COBRA premium covers any health plan, which includes medical, dental, or vision compensation.

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