Members who have fallen off Plan A or Plan B are already well aware of the benefits of the COBRA law. Simply put, the law allows workers who lose health insurance to continue making payments to retain their coverage, up to 18 months in most cases. For instance, if you had a Broadway chair, and had Plan A but then lost it, you could pay out of pocket to continue your coverage.
Now a new law proposes that the state pick up half the COBRA tab – for up to a year – for members who have become ineligible for union benefits. The Entertainment Industry Health Insurance Coalition initiated the COBRA Subsidy Bill, sponsored by Richard Brodsky in the Assembly and Kemp Hannon in the Senate.
The Assembly bill (A7660-D) passed unanimously in June. The coalition is urging Majority Leader Joseph Bruno to bring the Senate bill (S6308) to a vote when the Senate goes back in session before the end of this year.
Please sign and mail this letter (found below) to Senator Bruno’s Albany office. You can copy and paste the text into any word processing program.
Sending your letter by mail will have much greater impact than faxing or e-mailing it. Be sure to include your printed name and home address in New York State.
Hon. Joseph Bruno
Legislative Office Building
Albany, New York 12247
Dear Senator Bruno:
As a member of the entertainment industry in New York I urge you to support S6038, the COBRA Subsidy Bill, and bring it to a vote as soon as the Senate returns.
Assistance with COBRA payments will permit those who have temporarily lost eligibility for their union benefits to afford quality health care and to keep the same health care providers they use through their union plans.
The economic health of New York’s entertainment industry is inseparable from the physical health of those who provide the entertainment. The COBRA Subsidy Bill helps to maintain both.
Thank you for considering this important and innovative legislation.
(City, State and Zip)