Posts Tagged ‘cheaper than COBRA’

COBRA sticker shock, why is it so expensive?

Author: Kelley Filice Jensen

Being laid off or fired from a job is horrible.   A million worries go through your mind at once including whether you will have enough money to survive until you get a new job and what to do about the health insurance you received through your employer’s health plan.  It is a relief to hear that you can continue on your former employer’s health plan for 18 months, until you hear that you will have to pay the premiums previously paid by your former employer.  How can it be so expensive?  This is the dilemma of COBRA Health Insurance Coverage.


Right now, many individuals are at a crossroad when it comes to their health insurance.  During this exasperating recession, people found themselves laid off from their jobs suddenly, and, in a scramble, elected to stay on their former employer’s health insurance plan through COBRA instead of finding alternatives to COBRA health insurance.

Employee, Freelance worker, Independent Contractor….What am I and why do I care?

Work has never been so complicated.  Do you WORK at a Company, or DO work for a Company?  While this might seem like nothing but semantics, the difference in your employment status is real and relevant in almost every way, for both you and the Companies you conduct business with.  Your classification as an employee, or a freelance worker, also known as independent contractor, determines your payment of taxes, the type of taxes you pay, you eligibility for health insurance and other benefits, and, in many cases, your very wages.

COBRA too expensive for many unemployed

For many unemployed Americans, the cost of maintaining COBRA health insurance is just too expensive.COBRA, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, has as main goal to make health insurance available to unemployed Americans. The plan typically provides 18 months of health insurance to workers who have been laid off or fired from their jobs. Under COBRA, the unemployed individual must pay the full cost of the health insurance premium, plus administrative fees.The cost of COBRA can be staggering, because COBRA rates are based on group insurance, traditionally much more costly than individual health insurance rates. So, if an individual that has just lost their job, in this time of record high unemployment, and they do not know how long their will be out of work, paying for COBRA may not be an option. It is understandable that given this dilemma, many individuals who have just lost their job join the ranks of the uninsured, rather than elect COBRA.It is evident that the theory behind COBRA is a good one, but the reality is that it is not a reasonable alternative for the unemployed. A better alternative is individual health insurance coverage that a person buys themselves. There is no expiration on an individual policy, traditionally the cost is a fraction of what COBRA is, for identical coverage.

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