Posted by Brian McCullough
I’ve been thinking a lot about this issue lately, so I’ll have a bunch of posts on this this week. There were a lot of good things on the internet this weekend about just this topic.
Starting with this excellent rundown: Health Insurance Options After a Job Loss.
If you don’t have a spouse’s employer group plan available to you as a back-up, there’s always Cobra, the acronym for the law that allows you to continue on your employer’s plan generally up to 18 months after a job loss — as long as your employer has at least 20 workers. If you worked for a small business that offered health coverage, you may be able to get Cobra-like continuation from a state-administered program. Visit Georgetown’s “Consumer Guides for Getting and Keeping Health Insurance” at www.healthinsuranceinfo.net to learn more about your state’s programs and options.
While Cobra can be helpful, especially for people undergoing a course of treatment, it’s often too expensive to be a viable solution because you’re on the hook for the whole premium plus a 2% administrative fee. The average price? Around $400 a month for an individual and $1,000 a month for family coverage, Pollitz says.
“The sticker shock is pretty horrific,” she says. “What you’re used to seeing deducted from your check — that’s just a fraction and you’ll see the rest of the pie when you go into Cobra.”