Insurance

California law guarantees health insurance subsidies for workers during labor disputes

For fully insured businesses that purchase health coverage for their employees, the cost per employee is expected to increase by 6.5% in 2023, more than double the rate of increase from last year, according to a previous report. The California Federation of Labor, the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor sponsored the bill.

With this, eligible workers will have their premiums covered as if their earnings were just above the Medicaid eligibility level, according to the report, citing Covered California spokesperson Kelly Green.

For example, a single person earning $54,360 a year can pay 8.5% of their income, or about $385 a month, in premiums under a mid-level health plan. Under the new striking workers law, that person choosing the same plan would pay nothing in premiums — as if that person earned $20,385 a year — for the duration of the strike, reported. Kaiser Health News.

Covered California will spend about $1.4 million to launch this benefit, he said, according to the report. The agency said it will create application questions to screen eligible workers and remind them to stop coverage once they return to work. California workers who lose their employer-sponsored health benefits may become eligible for the state’s Medi-Cal Medicaid program.

They may also be eligible to purchase health insurance through Covered California. Under this option, workers could receive a range of grants to help them pay their monthly premiums.