Lose your Local 802 health coverage? There’s new help!

Volume 122, No. 5May, 2022

If lose your Local 802 health coverage, there’s a new upgrade to the state subsidy program that could help you stay on the Local 802 plan for up to 12 months.

You may already know about a federal law called COBRA that allows you to keep your health coverage if you lose it. (There are plenty of restrictions and details; the main one is that you have to pay out of pocket to continue your coverage.)

Last year, the federal government included a COBRA subsidy in the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan. That subsidy, which helped pay for COBRA payments, has expired.

However, for many years, the New York State labor movement has successfully fought for a state COBRA subsidy for New York residents. This year, Local 802 and many other allies worked with the New York State AFL-CIO to get a significant upgrade to the state COBRA system into the state budget.

The upshot is that if you lose your Local 802 health coverage and are a New York resident, the state may subsidize 75 percent of the cost to maintain your coverage. This is a actually a huge victory.

There are other upgrades, such as a relaxing of the income requirements and an increase in the amount of time you have to use the subsidy. The Local 802 health department will automatically send you information on COBRA if you lose your Local 802 health coverage (for instance, if your Broadway show closes). However, you can also manually download a PDF of the COBRA form here and view all the details.

The Local 802 health department is available to help you fill out the form and answer any questions.

We congratulate our state lawmakers and other allies who successfully upgraded this important program. Local 802 members should definitely take advantage of it.