COBRA Subsidy Might Have Curbed Number of Uninsured, Study Says
The federal COBRA subsidy included in the 2009 economic stimulus package might have slowed growth in the number of uninsured U.S. residents during the recession, according to a new study conducted by the U.S. Treasury's Office of Economic Policy, USA Today reports.
The study found that between a quarter and a third of eligible unemployed workers used COBRA subsidies to cover as much as 65% of the cost of staying on their former employer's health care coverage for up to 15 months.
The study focused on more than 6,000 New Jersey residents who received unemployment insurance during the fall and winter of 2009.
Alan Krueger, the Treasury's chief economist, said some unemployed workers who did not enroll in COBRA might not have been ineligible because they had access to a spouse's employer-provided coverage.
Although COBRA subsidies were set to expire in April, Congress last month extended the subsidy through May 31 (Block, USA Today, 5/10).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.