LayoffBlog.com

April 25, 2009

Health insurance subsidy for laid-off workers has holes

A new federal subsidy designed to help laid-off workers pay for health insurance could be out of reach for thousands of jobless workers because they worked for a small company or their former employer has gone out of business.

If an employer terminates its group health plan, former employees are ineligible for COBRA, says Michael Langan, principal with Towers Perrin, a human resources consultant. That makes them ineligible for the subsidy, too, he says.

Source: USA Today

April 7, 2009

NC employed, unemployed may both face no insurance

North Carolina’s unemployment rate reached 9.7 percent in January and it is likely to keep climbing for the rest of this year, which means the employer-subsidized health insurance coverage is going to be cut for tens of thousands of workers.

But thousands more who still work may lose their insurance anyway as small businesses have to choose between offering health care or laying off employees. Other workers may see deductibles rise so high they’ll only be able to use their insurance for catastrophic emergencies.

~News submitted by upthecreek

Source: CNBC

March 17, 2009

Kaiser to cut 860 information technology jobs

According to SFGate: “Kaiser Permanente is cutting 860 information technology jobs nationwide under a realignment that includes a $500 million deal giving IBM management duties at Kaiser’s medical records data centers.”

“The Oakland health maintenance organization, which has spent as much as $5 billion over the past five years building up its electronic records system, said Monday it has inked a seven-year deal with IBM to maximize the performance of its data processing units.”

“In a separate action, Kaiser is eliminating an additional 160 information technology jobs scattered across 30 locations as it pares back spending due to the impact of the economic downturn.”

“Of the 700 staffers affected by the IBM deal, 500 work at one of the California data centers, which are located in Pasadena, Corona, Napa, Walnut Creek and Irvine

~News submitted by Jack R.

January 9, 2009

Health coverage eats up unemployment benefits

According to a report (PDF) by Families USA,

Nationally, to maintain single coverage, the average unemployed worker would need to spend 30 percent of his or her unemployment insurance (UI) check on COBRA premiums.

Maintaining family coverage under COBRA is an economic impossibility for most newly unemployed workers. Nationally, unemployed workers would need to spend nearly 84 percent of their UI income, on average, to pay for premiums for family coverage.

January 5, 2009

Cigna Cuts 1,100 Jobs, Expects Charge of $40 Million

According to Bloomberg: “Cigna Corp. (NYSE:CI), the health insurer whose shares fell 69 percent last year because of investment losses, said it will cut about 1,100 jobs and take a fourth-quarter after-tax charge of $30 million to $40 million for 2008.”

January 4, 2009

Obama Considers Major Expansion in Aid to Jobless

According to NYTimes: “President-elect Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats are considering major expansions of government-assisted health care insurance and unemployment compensation as they begin intensive work this week on a two-year economic recovery package.”

“Other policy changes would subsidize employers’ expenses for temporarily continuing health insurance coverage to laid-off and retired workers and their dependents, as mandated under a 22-year-old federal law known as Cobra, and allow workers who lose jobs that did not come with insurance benefits to be eligible, for the first time, to apply for Medicaid coverage.

“Obama advisers have said the package will carry a total cost of at least $775 billion.

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