Workers From Small California Firms Closer to COBRA Subsidy
On Thursday, the California Assembly voted unanimously to pass a bill (AB 23) that makes changes to state law to let workers at firms with fewer than 20 employees qualify for federal subsidies for COBRA coverage, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The legislation applies to the Cal-COBRA program, which facilitates coverage for workers laid off from firms with no more than 19 employees (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 4/2).Â It also would require health plans to alert people to the availability of the subsidy (Sanders, Sacramento Bee, 4/3).
A provision in the federal economic stimulus package would subsidize 65% of the cost of COBRA coverage for some laid-off workers for up to nine months (California Healthline, 3/31).
The Assembly Appropriations Committee estimated that the bill would make 60,000 to 100,000 unemployed Californians and their families eligible for the federal subsidy, accounting for about $400 million from the stimulus package.
The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.Â If the legislation is signed into law, it will take effect immediately (Sacramento Bee, 4/3).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.