State offers insurance subsidy

Laid-off Oregonians who have lost health insurance provided by small employers will be able to receive an additional six-month subsidy for insurance premiums.

The state Insurance Division today filed temporary rules to implement the subsidy extension for health plans offered by small employers. Large employer plans are covered by the federal COBRA law. President Obama this week signed a measure to extend the subsidy for insurance provided by large employers for six months.

The state measure will allow people who worked for employers with fewer than 20 workers to get 65 percent of their insurance premium paid by the state. Eligibility for the program is also extended for two months, through the end of February 2010.

Insurance companies or employers are required to notify people about the program extension and their opportunity for additional subsidies.

— Bill Kettler

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