COBRA coverage for unemployed may be extended

Doctor's exam
Doctor's exam

If you lost your job, right now you can get a 65% subsidy from the government to help pay for a continuation of your health benefits under COBRA for nine months. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act may be a weird name for a bill about health insurance, but it's basically the law that requires companies to let people pay to remain on their group health insurance plans for at least 18 months.

But that could end shortly. Congress passed the 65% subsidy as unemployment rose in this country, but it's due to expire Dec. 31. A bill to extend the subsidy for a total of 15 months was introduced last week by Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa. Originally, the subsidy was available for nine months. So someone who began collecting the subsidiary on March 1 would run out of help at the end of November.