Additional federal funding available for health insurance

 New federal funding is available for eligible individuals to continue their group health insurance according to officials with the South Dakota Department of Revenue and Regulation, Division of Insurance.

Insurance Division Director Merle Scheiber announces these funds are available due to an extension of the premium reduction under the American Recovery Reinvestment Act (AARA) subsidy for South Dakota citizens.

"I am pleased Congress has acted on and President Obama has signed the Fiscal Year 2010 Defense Appropriations Act," says Scheiber. "The act extends the period to apply for the ARRA premium reduction for an additional two months (through Feb. 28, 2010) and the maximum period for receiving the premium subsidy for an additional six months (from nine to 15 months). Unemployed South Dakota citizens and their families will be better able to afford and keep their health benefit coverage because of the extension."

Information regarding the federal premium subsidy is available on the Division of Insurance website at www.state.sd.us/insurance.  Individuals may also access the United States Department of Labor COBRA Web site at www.dol.gov/cobra to get information on new notice requirements, updated guidance, fact sheets, and frequently asked questions as they become available.

If you have additional questions regarding the premium subsidy, you may contact the Division of Insurance at (605) 773-3563 or by email at insurance@state.sd.us.

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