TOPEKA – Although most of the attention has focused on how the federal stimulus package will help programs, there are also benefits for individual taxpayers.
Among the aid programs for individuals is a plan where the federal government will cover 65 percent of COBRA assistance for nine months, said State Treasurer Dennis McKinney on Thursday.
But “the clock is ticking,” he said. Employers must notify eligible employees about the help by April 18, and laid off workers must apply to for the program with in 60 days of the notification.
The assistance is for workers who were laid off between Sept. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2009.
The plans offer health coverage for up to 18 months after a worker is laid off but typically cost much more than payments through an employer.
“Many people did not select that COBRA coverage because they couldn’t afford it when they were laid off particularly if they were needing family coverage,” McKinney said.
He hoped the assistance would encourage people to sign up for the health coverage, which would be done through their former employers.
“We don’t want a growth in the ranks of the uninsured in Kansas,” he said.
McKinney said his office planned to have information detailing programs from the stimulus plan that would help individual Kansans posted on its website by Friday.