Oregon COBRA announcement

3/5/09 - The following letter is reprinted from the Oregon Insurance Department from Acting Insurance Division Administrator Teresa Miller issued March 5, 2009. The letter was apparently sent by e-mail to persons registered with the department.

"Re:  Stimulus help/COBRA

Hello. As you know, the federal stimulus program offering COBRA or state continuation premium assistance started February 17, 2009. Here is a link to information that we have posted for consumers on our Web site:

Within our fact sheet, you will find links to the U.S. Department of Labor and to the IRS that also may be helpful for employers.

We know that there are unanswered questions about the mechanics of how this subsidy will work, especially with state continuation. We recognize, in particular, that many small business owners may be unaware of state continuation and their role in this required program.

I want to let you know that we understand the urgency of the situation and are working with other agencies, insurers, and consumer groups to clarify issues. We will communicate with you as soon as we can about the expectations for state continuation!

Meanwhile, the insurers you work with will also be offering guidance about how that particular company envisions the mechanics of these processes."

We expect that other states may issue similar statements to help ease the introduction of this new program. provides help with COBRA issues

COBRA continuation coverage may provide temporary protection when changing jobs, going through a divorce or negotiating other life transitions. Choosing the right health insurance is crucial to protect your health and financial security.