From April 1, employers with at least 20 employees will pay the COBRA health insurance premium for employees who have lost their jobs. The premium payment benefit is part of the recently signed American Rescue Plan Act. The free coverage ends on September 1, 2021.

Under the law, COBRA requires employers to offer health insurance from the company’s own health insurance plan to those they let go of for the next 18 months. But COBRA is not cheap and employers are not required to pay for it. Not only can companies decide that the former employee pays the entire monthly premium, but they can even charge the former employee a 2% surcharge.

A former employee may qualify for the American Rescue Act Plan perk as long as they have not been released due to gross misconduct. All you have to do is contact your previous employer and say I want coverage. While free coverage is intended for those whose employer-provider health insurance plan expires on April 1, it also includes those who are already enrolled with COBRA. for those whose COBRA has expired; and for those who are in the decision-making window, which is 60 days after the day they were released.

Employers receive tax credits to make up for lost income.

The original intent of COBRA, or Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, was to ensure that people who were terminated or whose hours were cut were eligible for health insurance. The employer can pick up part of the tab and let the ex-employee pay for the rest. If not, the ex-employee gets stuck with the entire tab.

And that tab is real money. A single person pays an average of $ 600 per month. For a family, it’s almost four times, according to the Wall Street Journal.

While unemployment has decreased somewhat across the country, share this with the person counted in these statistics.

Government data shows that the employment rate was 57.6% in February, a decrease of 3.5% from February 2020. In February last year, 5 million people were looking for work; That February it was 7 million. The number of people unemployed for almost half a year is 4.1 million – an increase of 3 million since February 2020.