Today’s News: Obama Wants $50 Billion Stimulus, Law Limits Health Insurance Rates and Parents Front for Teen Drivers

President Barack Obama hopes to convince Congress to move forward with a $50 billion stimulus package that would, in part, re-extend the COBRA subsidy to unemployed workers who saw theirs expire recently. In other insurance news, a new law in New York will help to limit health insurance rates and a study has found that many parents are willing to “front” for their teen drivers after an accident.

Obama Wants $50 Billion Stimulus

On Saturday, June 12, Obama sent a letter to the Congressional leadership of both parties, pleading with them to add measures in upcoming bills that would help unemployed workers keep their health insurance for a longer period. The four-page letter asked Congress to pass a $6-8 billion measure to extend the 65 percent COBRA subsidy. In addition, he wants $23 billion to go to FMAP funding for states so that they don’t need to cut back on their Medicaid rolls. He notes in the letter that the current recession is the reason that benefits should be extended for a longer period than normal. (Firedoglake)

Law Limits Increase in Health Insurance Rates

New York’s Gov. David A. Paterson recently signed legislation that would give the state the power to block what might be deemed as unreasonably high health insurance rates for millions of residents. The law will cover about three million people who are enrolled in small-employer or individually-purchased plans and would require health insurance companies to apply to the state Insurance Department before they would be allowed to raise their premiums. New York currently has the highest premium average for individually bought policies. (New York Times)

42% of Parents Front for Their Teen Drivers after Accidents

A recent study shows that nearly half of parents are willing to commit auto insurance fraud by saying that they’re the primary drivers of their teens’ vehicles, especially after accidents. New research from First Car Magazine and Young Marmalade discovered that “fronting” for kids is so common that 41.79 percent of parents are willing to do it. Why? The main reason is that they hope to reduce auto insurance expenses. However, if caught, they could be prosecuted for fraud. (Insurance Rate)