Health Insurance and Employers sign now

First off my purpose of this request or thought comes from sitting here for ten weeks now waiting for Massachusetts Unemployment to either confirm or deny my case pending review of reason of separation. WHILE I'm waiting I am watching my options to continue my company health insurance via COBRA disappear. I need unemployment to pay for COBRA so I can continue with my health insurance. That option has now come and gone because I am still waiting for unemployment to decide whether I am entitled to a weekly check or not. Per Cobra options you have until such and such date to elect continued coverage and pay 100\% of the cost that typically was picked up (or a large \% of it) by the employer.

With that said,

I think all employers should bare the obligation of carrying the health insurance option provided to their employees when there is a separation no matter the reason.

The health insurance plan should remain intact until
a. the employee has options for a new plan elsewhere; whether state offered or a new position with a new company (this is what I call the Child Support plan)
b. the replacement plan must be comparable or better than the existing plan
c. for a period of one year from date of separation
d. the option is void should the employee not make their monthly obligations (should the plan be a split between employer / employee based on a \% of total cost) If employer was paying 100\% than d. is irrelevant.

Microsoft laid off 5000 workers this week? COBRA is now the employees only option. So,

1. their revenue stream (income) is reduced dramatically which impacts all economy
2. They now have to take what they get from unemployment and pay for health insurance, and if they have a family they are looking at $1100 per month to pay from their unemployment check (most states max unemployment per month is only $2200, this doesn't leave enough to pay COBRA and the mortgage)
3. The state may or may not have a health insurance plan that the laid off worker can access immediately, or is the same or comparible coverage as what the employer offered.
4. It could be MONTHS (like in my case) before unemployment rules on if these workers can collect at all.
5. This plan will push employers to consider other options for emergency plans other than simply laying people off that are totally dependent on the cash flow.

This plan should also in the best interest of the employer only be active at the employees first anniversary with the company (1 year). This will prevent new hire from taking advantage of the program and leaving the company prematurely.

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Edward ArmstrongBy:
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U.S. Congress

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