Free health insurance available to millions of people who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic – Dallas / Fort Worth news

READ MORE: 1 Dead, 5 Injured in Shootings in Bryan, Texas, Suspect Identified as Employee Larry Bollin Federal law known as COBRA gives workers the ability to keep health insurance from their jobs if they lose their jobs.

The problem is that COBRA insurance premiums are expensive – averaging $ 600 per month for one person and $ 2,000 per month for a family. READ MORE: Experts from North Texas Expect to see more severe spring allergies than usual

Here’s what you need to know about the free COBRA plan. Q: how long does it take? A: Six months of free COBRA insurance is available from April 1st to September 30th. The plan does not reimburse previous COBRA payments.

“If you can’t pay the rent and health insurance, most people will pay the rent because you have to have an apartment,” she said. “This now takes that decision off the record. Families don’t have to choose between health insurance and rent. “Karen Pollitz, Senior Fellow and Health Insurance Expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation, said the cost of COBRA forces families to make difficult decisions far too often.

Q: How do you sign up? A: You need to notify the previous employer. Companies should send employee communications. However, if you don’t want to wait, you can also fill out a US Department of Labor form (linked here (pdf)) and send it to your employer. Q: Who is Qualified? A: Any worker laid off last year who has lost their health insurance is eligible, including those who originally chose not to take COBRA because they could not afford it.

For those who are not eligible for COBRA or who decide against COBRA, the latest stimulus package also offers free health insurance in the unemployed market. Market health plan subsidies are also available. Congress has also extended the registration deadline for insurance to mid-August. Visit heathcare.gov for more information. Pollitz said while Congress rushed to launch the free COBRA benefit by April 1, it expected the process to be “messy” at times, but she said that for many struggling Americans, this benefit will also be “life changing” can.

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