First bill this session: Health insurance assistance for laid-off worker

Democratic lawmakers are expected to take up their first bill of the session that will extend health insurance assistance for laid-off workers, as outlined by the federal stimulus package.

The stimulus law provides a 65 percent subsidy for laid-off individuals to pay for a temporary continuation of their health insurance plan for 15 months, and individuals can elect to pay out-of-pocket the full cost for an addition three months after that.

The legislature’s Office of Fiscal Analysis said the state extending the benefits has no fiscal impact on the state or municipalities.