Get COBRA Coverage for Less

The stimulus law provides a subsidy to help workers who lost their jobs pay for this expensive health-insurance option.

The stimulus bill provides a 65% subsidy to help pay for COBRA health insurance for workers who lost their jobs. But I haven’t found an explanation of how to collect this benefit. Could you tell me how to claim the subsidy? My COBRA coverage costs more than $300 per month.

A federal law called COBRA generally requires companies that have at least 20 employees and offer health-insurance benefits to continue offering coverage to workers who leave or lose their jobs. If you're paying for COBRA coverage, ask your former employer about any administrative steps you need to take to receive the subsidy.

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Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.