Assembly OKs Bill for Workers at Small Firms To Get COBRA Subsidy
On Monday, the California Assembly voted unanimously to approve amendments to a bill (AB 23) that would allow laid-off workers from firms with fewer than 20 employees to qualify for federal subsidies for COBRA coverage, the Sacramento Bee reports (Sanders, Sacramento Bee, 5/12).
The legislation applies to the Cal-COBRA program, which provides coverage for former workers from businesses with two to 19 employees (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 5/11).
A provision in the federal economic stimulus package already offers to subsidize 65% of the cost of COBRA coverage for up to nine months for laid-off workers from larger firms.
AB 23 would extend the same subsidy to employees of smaller firms who lost their jobs between Sept. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2009 (Sacramento Bee, 5/12).
Assembly member Dave Jones (D-Sacramento) estimated that the subsidy would provide assistance to up to 100,000 Californians.The bill now goes to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), who said he intends to sign the bill (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 5/11). The bill will take effect immediately (Sacramento Bee, 5/12). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.