Free Cobra Health Insurance: Who Qualifies and How to Sign Up

Alonzo Osche

The latest coronavirus relief law, which President Biden signed Thursday, gives many workers who have been laid off over the past year the option to resume employer-based health insurance coverage free from April 1 through Sept. 30.

Normally, such coverage—available to former employees under a federal law known as Cobra—is expensive, averaging about $600 a month for individuals and $2,000 a month for families, said Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow specializing in private health insurance at the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation.

As a result, she said, many who are laid off don’t get Cobra coverage.

To help the millions of

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