I took this from an online source and can't guarantee its accuracy but it's consistent with all else I've read. I hope it helps those of you in this situation.
· The government will provide a 65% subsidy for up to 9 months of the COBRA premium effective March 1, 2009 for certain terminated employees.
· Employees entitled to the subsidy must have been involuntarily terminated (for reasons other than gross misconduct) between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009 and must be eligible for COBRA.
· A special election period exists for individuals involuntarily terminated on or after September 1, 2008 who had not elected COBRA; they will have an additional time period to do so as discussed below.
· The subsidy is not retroactive, but will continue for a period of up to 9 months beginning on or after March 1, 2009.
· The subsidy terminates at the earlier of (a) 9 months; (b) eligibility for other employer health coverage; (c) Medicare eligibility; (d) the end of the maximum COBRA coverage period required by law; or (e) for those electing COBRA during the special election period, the end of the COBRA period starting from the initial time period when the employee could have elected COBRA.
· The employer pays the 65% on the employee's behalf and is then reimbursed.
· The employee (or someone other than the employer) must pay 35% of COBRA before the employer can request reimbursement of the other 65%; employers who do not charge the full COBRA premium will not be entitled to reimbursement of 65% of the maximum COBRA premium.
· The subsidy is phased out through additional taxation for taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of more than $125,000 (or $250,000 if married filing jointly). Additional taxation is imposed and is capped by the full amount of the subsidy for taxpayers whose modified adjusted gross income meets $145,000 (or $290,000 in cases of a joint return).
· If the employer allows, employees may elect coverage different than that in effect at the time of termination... [there were lots more details about this that I'll not include here]
49 year old female attorney, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985, no surgery but much suffering.
Asacol/5ASA 6x400 mg maintenance for 20+ years; use prednisone & Rowasa for flares.
August 2008 sought care of naturopathic doctor. Food sensitivity test showed wheat/gluten, other intolerances; started diet without gluten, soy, dairy, tomato etc. Probiotics (Ultimate Flora, 50 billion). Doing much better, but still having some bad days.