Rosen Co-Sponsors Legislation to Protect Unemployed Workers’ Health Insurance During Pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), announced her original co-sponsorship of S.4714, the Worker Health Care Coverage Protection Act. This legislation, led by Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), would provide a 100 percent subsidy of COBRA health insurance premiums owed by unemployed workers, in nearly all employment-based health plans, to ensure that workers do not lose coverage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in millions of Americans being put out of work, causing them to lose access to their employer-sponsored health insurance,” said Senator Rosen. “We must act to ensure that all Americans can access health coverage during this critical time. That is why I am proud to co-sponsor this important piece of legislation that would provide workers with a lifeline to maintain their health care during this pandemic. I will continue working in Congress to protect the health of Nevadans and Americans across our nation.”  

BACKGROUND: Since mid-March, approximately 57 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits, with an estimated 10 to 15 million having also lost their employer-sponsored health insurance. Many unemployed Americans would prefer to remain on their employer health plan, known as COBRA, but it is often prohibitively expensive—on average, $1,700 per month for a family.

The following organizations have endorsed the Worker Health Coverage Protection Act: AFL-CIO, UNITE HERE, UNITE HERE Local 1, National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans, Families USA, American Hospital Association, and Alliance to Fight for Health Care, Actors’ Equity Association, Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA), American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Communications Workers of America (CWA), Guild of Italian American Actors (GIAA), International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART). International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers (IBB), International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial & Service Workers International Union (USW).

Earlier this month, Senator Rosen co-sponsored the Covid Enrollment Response (COVER) Act, legislation to invest in outreach and enrollment assistance that would help more Americans find quality, affordable health insurance.