Michael Bloomberg has agreed under pressure to provide healthcare coverage for members of his now-defunct presidential campaign through the month of November if they need it.
"Given these extraordinary circumstances, the campaign will cover the cost of COBRA through November, 2020. This is aimed at supporting those who have not already secured replacement healthcare coverage," said an email to staff obtained by Politico's Christopher Cadelago.
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act or COBRA continuation coverage gives workers and their families who have lost health coverage due to circumstances such as job loss a chance to retain their health benefits for a limited period of time, but the monthly premiums on employer plans can be very expensive.
Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, faces several class-action lawsuits from former staffers who claim he promised to keep them employed through the general election only to fire them after suspending his presidential bid.
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Gregg Shavitz, a partner with Shavitz Law Group who is leading a separate class-action lawsuit against Bloomberg's campaign, told the Washington Examiner, "We believe the campaign has been motivated to extend the insurance benefits due to the pressure being exerted through the Donna Wood v. Mike Bloomberg lawsuit."
He continued, "More than 100 terminated staffers have already joined. There are also other issues at stake in addition to the health care coverage rightfully owed to these campaign staffers because of a promise that they would be employed with benefits until the November election."
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