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House Approves Affordable Health Insurance for Unemployed

Monday, February 02, 2009 by: Jo Hartley
Tags: health insurance, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act authorizes approximately $544 billion in new spending and $275 billion in tax cuts. The purpose of this legislation is to stimulate the economy by preserving and creating jobs, helping the unemployed and uninsured, and assisting states with budget relief measures. The U.S. House of Representatives has just approved measures to expand access to affordable health care coverage for workers who become jobless because of the recession. It is estimated that this package will help 8.2 million people keep their health care coverage.

It is expected and predicted that millions of Americans will lose their jobs because of the recession. With these job losses they and their families will then become uninsured. This bill will enable states (through Medicaid programs) to provide immediate assistance to families like this while they search for new jobs. Other federal funding will be earmarked for hospitals, doctors, clinics, and pharmacies to enable them to meet their payroll requirements and continue to employ the staff necessary to care for the people who have lost their jobs.

Often these unemployed families are enduring economic crisis and any health condition may be enough to push them to bankruptcy. If middle-class Americans experience job and wage cuts and a loss of health insurance they may not be able to keep up with monthly expenses like mortgages and college tuitions. This bill will enable funding for families in dire need and will also enable coverage for everyone while in the process of the pursuit of comprehensive health reform.

With the unemployment rate expected to continue to climb, the number of people without insurance is also expected to climb. Under current legislation, eligible former employees can continue to receive health coverage through their previous employer's insurance plan for up to 1.5 years. However, they must pay 102 percent of the cost of this coverage. This is called the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) and it gives workers and their families who lose their health benefits the ability to choose to continue their health benefits provided by their former employer's group health plan. This is a huge benefit to millions of Americans and it is important that newly unemployed Americans continue to have access to health insurance they can afford.

Three key provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for helping these American workers are:

1.Give a 65 percent subsidy for COBRA premiums for up to one year for workers who have lost their jobs between September 1, 2008 and December 1, 2009.

2.Make funding available to states that agree to provide Medicaid coverage to these unemployed and uninsured workers and their families.

3.Extend the COBRA benefits for older and long-term employees until they are able to find new health insurance coverage through future employment or they become eligible for Medicare.

Source: http://energycommerce.house.gov/index.php?op...

About the author

Jo Hartley
Wife, Mother of 8, and Grandmother of 2
Jo is a 41 year old home educator who has always gravitated toward a natural approach to life. She enjoys learning as much as possible about just about anything!
http://loftymatters.com - Current Events
http://winemaiden.com - Simply Abundant Living

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