Texas Employers to Discuss COBRA Changes Under New Stimulus Law

Unemployed workers receive federal help with health insurance payments; employers scramble to meet communications deadline to all eligible workers

Arlington, TX, March 21, 2009 --(PR.com)-- Who: Alt Benefit Consultants, Inc. and employers from across the state

What: As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and federal stimulus package, a number of important changes have been made to COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act), which allows laid-off workers to continue their former employer’s health coverage for up to 18 months, paid for by the employee. With the new stimulus package signed into law by President Obama, the government will subsidize 65 percent of COBRA health insurance premiums for individuals laid off between Sept. 1, 2008, and the end of 2009.

Alt Benefits, a third-party employee benefits administrator, will offer employers a two hour seminar that will cover all the details of the COBRA subsidies and the changes employers and laid-off workers will face over the next few months.

When: Tuesday, March 24, 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Where: The Rolling Hills Country Club, 401 E Lamar Blvd, Arlington, TX 76011

Why: In the past, COBRA has often been unaffordable for many jobless workers, who were required to pay the entire health insurance premium, plus a 2 percent administrative fee. Average COBRA premiums exceed $400 per month for individuals and $1,000 for families. With the new 65 percent subsidy, the rate of COBRA enrollment is expected to skyrocket. That is a concern for employers, who are worried they will experience increases in insurance costs due to individuals with health problems being the most likely candidates to take advantage of the subsidy. Employers and third-party administrators such as Alt Benefits are waiting for instructions from the Department of Labor Department on how to put the new COBRA program in place.

Information Contact:
Latricia Strutton, Account Executive
Alt Benefit Consultants, Inc./Alt Benefits
(214) 934-7818

Alt Benefit Consultants
Allison Brinkman