PA lawmakers reach agreement on COBRA, PHC4

    Pennsylvania’s General Assembly reached agreement on two healthcare bills this week. A mini-COBRA bill could ease the cost of health insurance coverage for laid-off workers.

    Pennsylvania’s General Assembly reached agreement on two healthcare bills this week. A mini-COBRA bill could ease the cost of health insurance coverage for laid-off workers.

    The federal COBRA law lets workers buy into their former employer’s health plan at the group rate. But in Pennsylvania that benefit is only available to workers from companies with 20 employees or more. Pennsylvania’s mini-COBRA bill extends that option to former employees of small businesses.

    The bill also clears the way for small-company employees to take advantage of a temporary 65 percent discount on COBRA coverage included in the federal stimulus law. Governor Rendell says he will sign the legislation.

    A bill to reauthorize the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) is also headed to the governor’s desk. The council collects statewide health data to help lawmakers, health providers and the public make better policy and treatment decisions.

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