A healthcare lobbying organization in Washington says Missourians who’ve been getting federal supplements to pay their COBRA insurance premiums could lose an average of 680-dollars a month soon. The program letting unemployed people register for the supplements runs out at the end of the month. Those who signed up at the start of the program last spring are running out of their nine-month eligibility.
Families USA says those who exhaust their eligibility are likely to go uninsured, or will spend most of their unemployment checks to keep their families insured. Executive Director Ron Pollack says some Missourians won’t have much left each month after they pay for their insurance if the subsidy program dies. “The average unemployment insurance check in Missouri is $1,113 . The average COBRA monthly premium for family coverage is $1044. So the Average COBRA premium consumes 93.8% of the average unemployment insurance check.” he says.. The federal subsidy, however, picks up about $680 of that amount.
Pollack says children of uninsured families might wind up in a state children’s health insurance program–S-CHIP.
Pollack says proposals have been introduced in Washington extending the subsidy but it might be months before they’re acted upon.
Excerpts from Families USA teleconference with Pollack: