Every employee assumes or hopes he will not be fired. But, if you get fired, you need to understand your COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985) rights. COBRA is the federal statute which requires an employer to make available to a terminated employee continued health insurance coverage. The continued coverage comes at a price. The employee must pay both the employer’s portion and the employee’s portion. That means the cost will typically be twice or more what the employee was paying before the termination.
In 2008, Congress enacted legislation subsidizing the costs of COBRA for workers who lost their job due to the Recession. This legislation applies to persons who lost their jobs due to involuntary termination between Sep. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2009. See article at Workplace Fairness. According to Workplace Fairness, the COBRA subsidy begins for health insurance coverage starting March 1, 2009.