If you were laid off last year, or like a few of my friends this year, then you need to contact the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. There are benefits available to help you through the TAA (Trade Adjustment Assistance) program. I know a few people who have received financial help to pay for a certification, or degree. You need to call 888-258-9966 or call Emma Golden-Kearney at 414-874-1653 to see if you can still get benefits. The petition number is 93212.
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Since the retiree health coverage and Cobra are ridiculously expensive, I suggest people look at using Aurora Health Care. They have a program called helping hands, and I think they give a 45% discount on everything else. Even though I found another job, I'm making half my past salary and the benefits are awful. Aurora has been outstanding in helping me and my family cover medical bills.
For some odd reason the original petition only included Franklin Campus. There may be a new petition for downtown.
If you had to take the expensive COBRA insurance, you may be able to take a tax credit on your federal form. It's the HCTC (Health Care Tax Credit) and I recommend people look on the IRS site for the details. However, I believe you have to qualify and register for TAA benefits to get the HCTC.
This program also has something called RTAA. If you are 50+ and have a new job which pays less, you can get money through RTAA to help bridge the pay gap. You can get up to $10,000, but I'm not sure what other restrictions may apply. I would recommend people call to see if they can get the benefit.