Wednesday, November 11, 2009

More COBRA Bites

Earlier this year, IB was the "go-to" place for COBRA/ARRA info, and we certainly wouldn't want to let our readers down. This morning's email brought news from COBRA admin Ceridian about new developments on the COBRA and ARRA front.

First, that 65% COBRA subsidy on which so many folks count? Well, it sunsets at the end of this year. If and/or when that happens, folks who lose their group benefits on or after December 31st won't be eligible for the subsidy (although insureds currently receiving it won't be cut off on that date).

Second, there are currently two House bills and one in the Senate that seek to extend the subsidy into (at least) next year. As Ceridean notes, with unemployment officially at over 10% (and unofficially at 22%), it's a pretty good bet that a lot more folks will be clamoring, not to mention eligible, for the subsidy. This, of course, will put even more pressure on Congress to "do something."

We'll keep you posted as things develop.

Oh, something else that caught my eye in that aforementioned e-mail: in analyzing their enrollment data, Ceridian found some interesting patterns. For example, "COBRA enrollments increased approximately 40 percent from pre-ARRA rates. About 18 percent of eligible workers chose COBRA health care continuation coverage, up from about 12 percent." Since someone else was footing up to 65% of the bill, that's not exactly a surprise. Click here for a copy of their full report.
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