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CMS Launches COBRA Premium Health Insurance Assistance In US

To qualify for premium assistance, a worker must be involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008, and December 31, 2009, and elect continuation coverage

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has launched a new website (www.ContinuationCoverage.net) and helpline (1-866-400-6689). Here, unemployed workers can request review of a denial by their former employers of eligibility for COBRA health insurance premium assistance, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

CMS has contracted with MAXIMUS Federal Services, a subsidiary of MAXIMUS, to review requests for expedited review of denials. Also, to make recommendations subject to CMS’s review, on whether individuals are eligible for health insurance premium assistance under the Recovery Act’s expansion of COBRA continuation coverage.

To help displaced workers maintain health care coverage for themselves and their families, the Recovery Act provides a 65% subsidy for health insurance premiums for workers who have elected COBRA (after they have been involuntarily terminated from their jobs).

To qualify for premium assistance, a worker must be involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008, and December 31, 2009, and elect continuation coverage.