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Old 02-10-2009, 01:06 PM   #41
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So how do you guys see this situation and the possible new laws.

I started getting COBRA last April and I was 55. COBRA will run out this October.

Wondering if there is any benefit in the situation for COBRA extension or otherwise with this new spending/stimulus bill

Thanks
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Old 02-10-2009, 02:18 PM   #42
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The way I see it, I will be paying for my insurance like I have always done. There is no subsidy in the part of the bill I'm interested in. The cobra thing will just be another option for me. I'm also thinking/hoping that the insurance companies will become more competitive and try to pull my business toward them and away from cobra. I don't pretend to know or understand everything about the effects of this but hope good things and opportunities come from it. I've been paying for insurance all my working career. I'm working on year number 30 at my current job. We, my family have been very healthy and not used it very much at all. So in my mind, now that I'm getting older "Mr insurance company" and I actually might need to use you some day, don't throw me out.

I admit I'm one sided about this, but not looking for a freebie. If I were I would be trying to fake a disability or some junk like that. I just don't want to loose everything I've worked for, to some unforeseen hospital bill down the road. So I plan to cover my self anyway I can. It just so happens this is the latest thing to pop on the scene. Would I not be stupid if I didn't take advantage of perks that just happen to come my way? I've never voted for anybody involved in this to my knowledge, but I will take the crumbs from the table .
I really do hope this doesn't bother you folks to much,
Steve
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Old 02-10-2009, 02:21 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by oliverdickens View Post
So how do you guys see this situation and the possible new laws.

I started getting COBRA last April and I was 55. COBRA will run out this October.

Wondering if there is any benefit in the situation for COBRA extension or otherwise with this new spending/stimulus bill

Thanks
I'm not sure how this thing will pan out but I would guess you have a pretty good shot at it, if they pass this thing on through.
Steve
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Old 02-11-2009, 08:32 AM   #44
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Correction

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It's my understanding that the reconciled bill is just a majority vote but I could be wrong...
I just read a piece on CNN/Money that indicates the reconciled bill IS "filibuster-able", and therefore the final bill will resemble the Senate version more to retain the 3 Republican votes. The Senate version has the COBRA subsidy but not the extension. I still think, though, that since the extension doesn't represent additional govt. spending it may get in in some form, maybe for over 55 AND some number of years with the employer.

One ridiculous thing about the House bill is that an over-55 retiree could take a job, quit after a week or two, and stay on COBRA indefinitely...
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Old 02-11-2009, 08:41 AM   #45
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One ridiculous thing about the House bill is that an over-55 retiree could take a job, quit after a week or two, and stay on COBRA indefinitely...
Thus making it even harder for someone 55+ to find a job?

Sometimes I think Congress has never studied the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Seriously, though, doesn't the COBRA extensions in the House bill (and the subsidies in both bills) only apply to those who were laid off (i.e. involuntarily terminated without cause)?
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Old 02-11-2009, 08:51 AM   #46
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You must be laid off for the subsidy in both bills, but the extension in the House bill is for anyone eligible for COBRA under existing law...
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:19 AM   #47
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I just ran across this paper about the extension. This may be closer to what actually happens and does increase the cost for those over 55.
Steve

COBRA Bill Summary
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:21 AM   #48
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I just ran across this paper about the extension. This may be closer to what actually happens and does increase the cost for those over 55.
So basically, instead of being able to charge 102%, employers would be able to charge this group 125%.

Wasn't there also a provision for folks under 55 with at least 10 years of service in the House bill? I don't see that here. Not that I'd expect that to survive conference committee, but still...
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:31 AM   #49
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I do remember reading about the 10 year thing but not in this paper as you stated.
If they do go with the 125% rule that would put me back at the state sponsored AHIP rate so probably wouldn't help me much, but it could be a better health plan.
Just have to see where the chips fall I guess,
Steve

Now that I found where this stuff is coming from I see another paper at his web site:
http://www.house.gov/stark/news/111t...8-stimulus.htm

In addition, this bill recognizes the special difficulties facing older and long time workers in a recession. It provides the ability for these workers to extend COBRA coverage beyond the standard 18 months until such time as they have obtained new group coverage or have become eligible for Medicare. This provision has no cost to the government, but will provide what could be the only opportunity for longtime workers to maintain their health coverage.
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:11 AM   #50
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Steve, I think Pete Stark introduced that COBRA extension act years ago - the stimulus provisions are similar but don't have the 125% provision. COBRA has gotten so expensive that extension at 125% would be pretty worthless...
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:05 PM   #51
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Well the final bill is out of conference. I can't find anything yet on the COBRA provisions - it may take a day or two before those details come out...
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Old 02-11-2009, 05:51 PM   #52
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Were does one even look to see what the new provisions will be once signed off on. I am sure I will have to be proactive with my old company should there be any changes in COBRA so appreciate knowing where to look to prepare for the fight.

Thanks
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Old 02-11-2009, 06:51 PM   #53
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When the FINALLY vote, both chambers, maybe Thursday and Friday as it stands now, I would expect the entire bill will be posted on the Internet and then, and assuming the President signs it (which is, more or less, a foregone conclusion) that will be it. However, like all major (and some minor) legislation the "devil" will be in the implementation by the respective departments of the government, it this case I would assume HHS.
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Old 02-11-2009, 07:41 PM   #54
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Were does one even look to see what the new provisions will be once signed off on. I am sure I will have to be proactive with my old company should there be any changes in COBRA so appreciate knowing where to look to prepare for the fight.

Thanks
I think the companies will be legally obligated to notify you if you fall within the guide lines, what ever that will be. I'm pretty sure I read that people laid off from their jobs would be given an extra number days to get on board, passed the original cobra rules. I would definitely stay tuned in and on top of things though. I think companies will be pushed and stressed somewhat trying to implement this, probably will be end of march or later before they get it all figured out.
Later,
Steve
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Old 02-11-2009, 08:24 PM   #55
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I have seen several articles that indicate the final bill has the 12 month 50% subsidy for laid-off workers, but so far no indication that the extension survived in any form at all (although no difinite statement that it isn't there either). Looks like we may have to wait for Obama's real universal coverage plan after all...
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Old 02-12-2009, 09:54 AM   #56
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I have seen several articles that indicate the final bill has the 12 month 50% subsidy for laid-off workers, but so far no indication that the extension survived in any form at all (although no difinite statement that it isn't there either). Looks like we may have to wait for Obama's real universal coverage plan after all...
I believe they watered it down somewhat in conference in order to make sure that the three GOP senators who supported it continue to do so, because they are needed to make sure it can get to the full Senate for a vote.
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Old 02-13-2009, 02:58 PM   #57
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The one and only thing in the bill that might have helped a person retire early is out, the best I can tell? I found this write up on it. Business's and lobbyist beat it out, I suppose.
Steve

Hr News & Views Blog


The earlier House version called for a 65% premium subsidy up to 12 months. It also would have allowed employees with 10 years of service and those 55 and older to retain COBRA until eligible for Medicare, a potentially decades-long entitlement that business groups successfully fought to have it removed.
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Old 02-13-2009, 03:00 PM   #58
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There's a possibility the senate want be able to pass it anyway. Looks like Teddy isn't coming back to Washington to vote !!! It will be extremely close for them.
Steve
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Old 02-16-2009, 04:09 PM   #59
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COBRA is so expensive for people that extending it without a subsidy will not be very helpful. My COBRA for a family of two is now nearly $1200 a month.
When the DW moved from one job to another she had a three month waiting period for insurance and I was unemployed. 1.5 hours after her insurance expired she had a Grand Mal seizure resulting in a large gash in her head (above her eyebrow starting from the inner corner of her eye going across to the outer corner of her eye then 45 degrees up to her hair line) and subsequent issues. We were on the fence about whether we were going to continue COBRA for the two months left of her waiting period. After the bill came from the ER we were no longer on the fence. The bill was well over 7k, the COBRA was less than $1000 per month for a family of three. It was a decent plan that covered a lot. The total cost to us for her brain surgery was $250 IIRC. Total cost of the surgery and the immediate after care was high six figures.
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:34 PM   #60
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Hello all - any thoughts on whether these goodies will be available to voluntary retirees? All the coverage I can find equates COBRA with workers who have "lost their jobs"...
What difference would it make if I am terminated or retire? Either way, there is a potential slot for a new employee. That's a stimulus.
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