>So, many of you have heard me voice my concern over the years concerning health insurance costs, coverage, and exclusions. Some of you know that I am a licensed Life/Health agent and understand the inner workings of this industry. I got my license primarily to protect myself and my loved ones from living uninformed lives, to put it nicely. To “keep it real with you” I did it so we would not get caught up in this big money game where my life was being gambled with.
Having employer-sponsored insurance is “golden”, and you get comfortable with this luxury. Trust me, having independent insurance as a self-employed individual gradually kicks my rear more dead-center each year as I get older. Once I hit 30 my premiums skyrocketed. The insurance companies figure that a woman’s reproductive needs increase and they start hitting deep in our pockets. My options, lower my coverage- excluding maternity needs and other services- taking into consideration I’m single and the freeway and road signs don’t show “marriage” coming up anytime soon.
This saves me about $100-$150 monthly. Can you imagine what my costs will be in years to come?
When you become unemployed, whether voluntarily or involuntarily there is a growing concern for your health care needs. So you’re out of work, in need of insurance and who comes to your rescue? COBRA Health Insurance. I’m trying to bite my tongue, cheek, anything to not go on a five minute blast-fest concerning COBRA.
Many people opt for COBRA out of fear. Fear of being rejected by another insurance carrier for pre-existing conditions, fear of the unknown, and fear of having to go through the process of interviewing insurance agencies until you find the one that meets your needs. The last thing you need is to go from employer-based insurance with a customary $5.00-$40.00 co-pay (not really feeling the associated cost of monthly premiums deducted from your paycheck) to then paying $400-2,000 monthly depending on family size and needs, and having to deal with mountains of paperwork- which you don’t understand, and being shuffled around like cattle.
Let me share something with you…even COBRA knows they are beyond expensive, so what have they done to help the American people find a way to afford insurance? Well it’s definitely not a case of reducing their passed on costs to you, but they are trying to help. COBRA Health Coverage has set up a website (cobrahealthcoverage.com) in order to help you find alternative insurance options for you and your family. After completing a questionnaire, you submit your information to request a quote. They have formed an alliance with several reputable insurance companies. I have excluded their information so not to appear to endorse any or all of them. You have to make an informed decision on your own, According to COBRA Health Coverage Alternatives these agencies can potentially provide insurance coverage to you for as low as $166.00 per month or less. You can choose from PPO, HDHPs, HSAs, as well as other services that fit your needs.
Something else the COBRA Health Coverage Alternatives provide are options not only for the unemployed, but also for part-time workers, the uninsured, or for freelancers.
I share this out of concern for those of you who would rather give in to accepting COBRA and possibly bankrupting your family (or finding yourself without insurance after months of struggling to pay COBRA only to lose it) because you don’t want to take the time to find other suitable alternatives. You can only keep your coverage for an average of 18 months and then what will you and your family do? Understand something, you’re not given a 24-hour window to find new insurance once you become unemployed or underemployed. You usually have a minimum of 20-30 days to proceed with COBRA or seek new coverage.
Take some time to do some research…heck, no offense but you have plenty of time on your hands now…or will soon enough! Look online and go to websites that allow you to compare several insurance agencies and their services at one time. Take notes, write down any questions and concerns that you may have, and then if the agents have not already began ringing your phone off the hook, place a few calls and take one step towards educating yourself…it can save you thousands each year…and free up that money to go towards other expenses or investments!
Copyright © 2010 by Natasha L. Foreman. All rights reserved; excluding displayed images.