Wednesday, February 25, 2009

If you know anyone who was recently laid off...Cobra changes

We have been searching madly for the best insurance coverage.

Also, we found out the hard way that the government requires extra taxes taken out of severance checks. Dick's last paycheck payroll took out 3 times the Federal amount. When you have been laid off you need all the funds you can get. Fortunately Dick had 2 more checks coming for vacation pay and commission due, so we were able ( thanks Sissy!) to get Dick's W-4 changed in time to say 10 deductions.

On a personal note we are doing fine. Our new business has started out with a bang and we give God the glory! It's one day at a time...but that's okay!

COBRA Changes and the Stimulus Plan -- Law Cuts Employee Contribution to 35%, Many Employers Unaware, Says Business Benefits Insurance

ANDOVER, MA - The new stimulus-plan law requires the government to subsidize laid-off workers on COBRA for the nine months, starting March 1, to the tune of 65% of the cost, but employers have to pay the subsidy upfront.
"Employers will get the money back, but have to give the government a short-term loan," says health-insurance expert Jim Edholm, president of Business Benefits Insurance in Andover, Mass.
"Employers have to get ready now to start administering the subsidy, which starts in less than a week," he says.

COBRA is the law that lets laid-off workers stay on their ex-employer's healthcare plan. They used to pay the entire premium out of pocket. Under the new law:
-- The employer must pay the 65% to the government and then deduct that
as a credit against payroll and income taxes withheld from employees.
-- The law is retroactive to September 1, 2008, and the employer must
reach out to both those who took COBRA at that time and to those who didn't
take it.
-- There will be a special "open enrollment" for those who are eligible
for COBRA but didn't take it. This lets them join at 35% of the cost.

Please if you know anyone laid off recently, pass this on...leave your e-mail address if you want additional information...I have an e-mail I can forward to you.


Anonymous said...

Bless your heart, you guys have been through a lot lately but it sounds like things are going to be okay. Great information today. You are just a wealth of knowledge when it comes to insurance stuff.


Renie Burghardt said...

I'm so glad things are working well for you guys, Maree, and thank you for the information on Cobra. I know a young friend who'se husband has been laid off, and she will want to know this information. I'll send her over to read this.

Hugs and blessings,


nanatrish said...

I passed the information on to our HR guy. I can't wait to hear about your new business. I hope you are getting used to your new place.

Memaw Barbie said...

So glad to know things are better for you all. Thanks for the insurance info, I will be sure to pass that on to others. Blessings

Pink Slippers said...

Praise God about your new business!

skovron family said...

Hello Maree;
thanks for the info. I recently got laid off after 10 years with a company. My severence runs out in about 8 weeks. I'm curious about starting a new business myself. What business did your husband start that is starting off with such a bang? Thanks.