Durbin Discusses Push For Robust Federal COBRA Subsidies In The Next COVID-19 Legislation With Chicago Federation Of Labor

Of The 30 Million Americans Who Have Recently Lost Their Jobs Due To COVID-19, It Is Estimated That More Than Ten Million Of These Individuals Have Also Lost Their Employer-Sponsored Health Care

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke with Robert Reiter, President of the Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL), to discuss why Congress should provide federal subsidies for COBRA health care coverage as part of the next coronavirus relief package.  Since the middle of March, more than 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits.  Experts estimate that 10 to 15 million of these newly unemployed individuals have also lost their employer-sponsored health insurance. Durbin has been fighting to help ensure that people who lose their jobs can remain on their employers’ health plans through COBRA without additional cost. 

“More than 10 million people are in need of health insurance in the midst of a pandemic and it’s critical that Congress seriously consider robust federal COBRA subsidies in the next COVID-19 relief package.  Those who lose their jobs because of this crisis deserve the peace of mind that health insurance brings and we must step up to the plate and let them stay on their employer’s health plans through the duration of this pandemic,” Durbin said.

Last month, Durbin led 17 Senators in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) urging that the next COVID-19 legislation include federal COBRA funding. 

In the U.S., over half of Americans receive their health coverage through their employer.  Depending on the extent of unemployment as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, between 23 to 35 million workers could end up losing their employer-based health care coverage.