Digital News Report – (Sacramento, CA) – Senate Bill 838, authored by Senator Tony Strickland (R-Thousand Oaks), was passed unanimously by the Assembly Health Committee today.
Last year’s federal economic stimulus bill included a 65% premium subsidy to individuals who were eligible for COBRA continuation health coverage between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009. In response, the California legislature passed AB 23 (Jones and Fletcher) which established specific notice requirements and enrollment opportunities for people eligible for premium assistance under the economic stimulus bill.
“The president and Congress have extended the COBRA premium subsidy three times and there is the possibility of an additional extension,” Senator Strickland said. “State legislation was needed to ensure conformity between state and federal law, which is why I authored SB 838.”
“I’m proud to have authored this bipartisan legislation which will ensure those Californians who were laid off from their jobs are still eligible to receive COBRA assistance,” Senator Strickland continued. “Any delay in the enactment of this bill means an individual otherwise eligible for the premium subsidy may not be aware of their eligibility. For many individuals, the subsidy is the difference between maintaining coverage and joining the ranks of the uninsured.”
SB 838 now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Tony Strickland represents California Senate District 19, which includes portions of Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties.