COBRA benefits extended through May 31

Hospitals that were worried they could see a spike in uninsured patients due to the expiration of federal COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) health insurance premium subsidies can breathe easier. The Continuing Extension Act of 2010 (HR 4851), the law that extends the zero percent update to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule through May 31, also extends federal COBRA premium subsidies, reports Insurance and Financial Advisor. The new measure provides a 65 percent subsidy of COBRA benefits for laid-off workers through May 31 (retroactive to April 5). The Act restores benefits that unemployed Americans began losing April 5 after they were out of work for more than 26 weeks because the previous extension had expired on March 31. Another pending bill, the American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act of 2010 (HR 4213), would extend COBRA benefits through year-end. Article