Be the Boss Over Cancer

You may be able to save a bundle on the typically hefty premium charged for COBRA health coverage,  thanks to a provision in the stimulus package (formally known as The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009). If you lost your job September 1, 2008, or after, you may be able to pay just  35% of the COBRA premium, while the remaining 65% is reimbursed to the provider of coverage via a tax credit. Caveats: the reduction applies to health coverage periods beginning on or after Feb. 17, 2009--when the act became effective--and can last up to 9 months if you are eligible for COBRA coverage from September 1, 2008 through 2009. (But it does not extend the original maximum coverage period, typically 18 months from the job loss date.)  April 18th was the deadline for your plan administrator to send you a notice--even if you declined the coverage initially or had it and dropped it. So, if you haven't gotten a notice and think you may qualify, contact your former employer or your health plan administrator. For further details, see information posted at the U.S. Department of Labor site, http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/cobra.html

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