Health Insurance Dreams May Become a Reality for Unemployed in California


Small business workers in California may finally realize their dream of health insurance assistance in the coming weeks. If Assembly Bill 23 which was recently approved and passed on to Senate is signed into law, thousands more laid-off workers will benefit from the federal law that provides assistance to COBRA recipients.

The Basics of Assembly Bill 23

Assembly Bill 23 (also known as AB 23) is a bill setting out to provide health insurance assistance to individuals who have been laid off from small businesses. Recently, the federal government offered to pay 65% of each laid-off workers COBRA health insurance premium if they’ve worked for a company employing 20 or more workers. If AB 23 is signed into law, California workers laid off from companies with between two and 19 employees will also be offered this assistance.

Requirements for Receiving Health Insurance Benefits

If you were laid off from a company in the state of California, while the size of the business will no longer be relevant under AB 23, there are other qualifiers to consider:

  • You must have been laid off after September 1, 2008. If you were laid off before September 1, 2008, were fired, or quit on your own, you will not be eligible for benefits.
  • Income below $145,000 is required. Your income must fall under $145,000, if you’re single. And if you’re combining your incomes, it must fall under $290,000.
  • You must have retained benefits. If you extended your health insurance benefits after being let go, you qualify for this temporary assistance.

If you qualify for assistance, the deadline to apply is December 31, 2009. After being approved, you will receive assistance for nine months, during which time you will be responsible for 35% of your health insurance bill.

For those of you who are looking for the best insurance rates available in California, fill out our health insurance form to see the best health insurance rate quotes for your area. It’s fast, secure, and free!