The U.S. government gave thousands of unemployed workers an early Christmas gift when the Senate, in a rare session Saturday, December 19, approved a military spending bill that would extend federal COBRA health insurance premium subsidies for the unemployed.
H.R. 3326, which the House approved this week, cleared the Senate on an 88-10 vote.
President Barack Obama signed the bill Monday, December 21.
The bill would extend the nine-month, 65 percent premium federal subsidy by six months. The change would apply to those who are involuntarily terminated through February 28, 2010.
Under current law, employees who lose their jobs after December 31 are ineligible for the subsidy.
The legislation also would provide another six months of subsidized coverage for beneficiaries whose nine-month COBRA premium subsidy has run out.
In addition, the legislation would give beneficiaries whose subsidy expired and who didn’t pay the full premium the opportunity to receive retroactive coverage. For example, a b
ic viagra online'>generic viagra online