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Stimulus for Health Insurance

Today Congress and the Senate have been hammering out a compromise of the Stimulus Package that President Obama says is needed to get our country’s economy back on track. Of course, regular readers of this blog will know that we are going to focus on how this may impact health insurance.

During negotiations the Senate and the House are said to have been paring down some aspects of the spending. Previously there had been a promise to provide health insurance, or at least, subsidized health insurance to the unemployed.

As it stands now it looks like the government might subsidize 60% of COBRA health insurance premiums fora period of up to 9 months. They logistics of how this will all work for the former employees and the businesses that administer the COBRA plans remain a complete mystery.

One item left on the cutting room floor was the House’s proposal to provide Medicaid coverage to jobless individuals that didn’t quality for COBRA benefits. Colorado has some real budget challenges at the state level, so it is hard to say how meaningful that may have been here in Colorado anyways. Medicaid generally is a blend of both federal and state dollars.

The final version of the bill may be on President Obama’s desk by as soon as Monday the 16th of February.

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