I've been laid off and I understand the State of Oregon may have help available so I can continue my health insurance. How do I apply?
I'm sorry you lost your job. These are challenging economic times and we're getting quite a few calls regarding health insurance and help with premiums. Premium assistance is actually a federal program and falls under the jurisdiction of the U. S. Department of Labor. Most people in your situation will qualify for a subsidy of 65% of their health insurance premium for up to 15 months.
In general, you are eligible if you involuntarily lose your job from September 1, 2008, through February 28, 2010, you qualify under federal COBRA law or Oregon's state continuation law, and your employer remains in business and maintains their health insurance plan. Your income may also affect the subsidy. If you worked for a large employer, usually 20 or more employees, your employer should provide you with the information you need to take advantage of the program. If you worked for a small employer, the insurance company should provide assistance.
The Department of Labor website, www.dol.gov, has quite a bit of information regarding COBRA and the subsidy, including frequently asked questions. They may be reached by phone at 1-866-444-3272. We have information on our website as well at the following link: http://insurance.oregon.gov/consumer/consumer-issues/federal-stimulus-info/federal-stimulus-info.html and advocates available to answer questions at 1-888-877-4894.