New law allows ‘second chance’ to keep health insurance

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People who were laid off between September 2008 and February 2009 qualify for a federal subsidy that will pay 65 percent of Colorado state continuation of health insurance premiums.

Gov. Bill Ritter signed a bill June 1 that makes sure employees have a “second chance” to keep insurance benefits through the federal program.

In Colorado, employees who leave an employer can continue health insurance through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, commonly known as COBRA, but are required to pay the entire premium.

During February, President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which paved the way for the Colorado legislation that provides the subsidy that can reduce by 65 percent the cost of COBRA and Colorado’s “mini-COBRA” premium.

For more information, call the Colorado Division of Insurance at (303) 894-7499 or toll free at (800) 930-3745.