By Sharon Hassler—This has nothing to do with GoGetNotary but I wanted to pass this info along in case you hadn’t heard. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (commonly known as the “stimulus package”) included a provision to temporarily reduce COBRA health insurance payments. You should be eligible if you had health insurance through your employer and were laid off or fired on or after Sept. 1, 2008 and up until Dec. 31 of this year. Through this program your payment can be reduced to 35% of the normal payment for up to nine months. The other 65% is given back to the health insurance provider in the form of a tax credit.

Although it’s only good for nine months, that can make a huge difference during that time. For a family being charged $600 a month, their payment would drop to about $200, Of course, there are restrictions including an income cap of $125,000 for individuals, $250,000 for couples and whether you have other health care now like Medicare or it becomes available during that nine month period. Employers were supposed to contact all former employees by April 17th to notify them of this COBRA provision and provide forms/instructions for applying for this reduction. Also, if you didn’t take COBRA or discontinued it, they should have notified you that there’s an opportunity to sign up again. If you haven’t heard from your former employer, contact them or your COBRA provider immediately.

Is this for real? My daughter told a friend about this option about a week and he called his COBRA provider and got his payment dropped from just over $300 to about $100. Here’s a link for more info: