Your COBRA Subsidy Is Ending, What Now?

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) provided a 65% reduction in premiums for health benefits under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, which you probably know as COBRA. Now the benefits are ending for the first wave of unemployed people who signed up at the beginning of the program.

Here’s how it worked:

Workers who have lost their jobs may qualify for a 65 percent subsidy for COBRA continuation premiums for themselves and their families for up to nine months.

Eligible workers will have to pay 35 percent of the premium to their former employers.

To qualify, a worker must have been involuntarily separated between Sept. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2009. Workers who lost their jobs between Sept. 1, 2008, and enactment, but failed to initially elect COBRA because it was unaffordable, get an additional 60 days to elect COBRA and receive the subsidy.

If you’re let go between now and Dec. 31st, you’ll still be able to get 9 months of subsidized COBRA, but for those whose subsidies are running out and are still unemployed — there’s not a lot of good news.

Those workers will now be on the hook for 102% of their COBRA premiums. CNNMoney says the average cost for health insurance per family under COBRA will jump from $398 to $1,137 per month.

So what do you do?

As far as we can tell you have few options:

1) Pay it.

From the LA Times:

“The best idea for people losing the subsidy right now would be to pay the higher December premium fee,” says Cheryl Fish-Parcham, deputy director of health policy at FamiliesUSA. That would give consumers a month to search out new options and decide whether COBRA coverage is too expensive without the government’s financial assistance.

Fish-Parcham also advises people to check their policy to see when the premium is due. “You do have a 30-day grace period each month to pay your bill, but after that period, your insurance will be canceled. The premium is likely less expensive than anything else you’ll find on your own, with the same level of coverage.”


2) Get on someone else’s plan, such as a spouse.

3) Find a cheaper plan for your kids and keep only yourself/spouse on the plan.

CNNMoney says:

If you have kids, they may qualify for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. This program is set up to provide insurance to families who don’t qualify for Medicaid, but can’t afford private insurance. Requirements for S-chip, as it’s known, is at insurekidsnow.gov.

4) Shop for private health care insurance.

The LA Times says:

It may be possible to find comparable, or even slightly less- expensive, plans at sites such as http://www.ehealthinsurance.com, the largest online health insurance broker. And FamiliesUSA offers a state guide to finding health insurance at http://www.familiesusa.com. Click on “Resources for Consumers” to the left of the home page and then click “California” or another state.

Losing your 65% COBRA subsidy [CNN]
What to do now that the COBRA subsidy is ending [LA Times]
COBRA Health Insurance Continuation Premium Subsidy [IRS]

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Phildogger says:

    “The best idea for people losing the subsidy right now would be to pay the higher December premium fee,” says Cheryl Fish-Parcham, deputy director of health policy at FamiliesUSA.

    Are you nuts, Cheryl? Maybe you could afford 1100 a month for insurance, but for the rest of the population, that isn’t really an option. it’s amazing that 1% of the population has about the 90% of the wealth. I bet she doesn’t know what living week to week is. Then again, anyone with 3 names has probably never eaten Ramen Noodles in the their life.

  2. admiral_stabbin says:

    People are scared the government will screw up health care reform, but isn’t it more scary to face paying COBRA? Even subsidized, it’s still pretty expensive for people that have lost their source of income.

    • morlo says:

      You will still have to pay. But rather than just being uninsured like when you can’t pay for COBRA, you will also be fined.

  3. FooSchnickens - Full of SCAR says:

    What now? An epic struggle between red lasers and blue lasers.

  4. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I’m with Stabby up there. All those people who don’t want to socialized medicine clearly don’t pay for their own insurance 100%. I’ll take the sometimes inefficient government plan over the always inefficient private insurance that costs 90% of my take home income.

    • diasdiem says:

      …that you have to fight tooth and nail to get them to pay for your health care if you get seriously ill.

    • subtlefrog says:

      Those people who don’t want socialized medicine…the same ones who won’t let you touch their Medicare?

      Heh.

      Sorry – I just love that Obama pointed that out. I know they don’t all fall into that camp, but I thought it was worth repeating.

    • Eryk says:

      I don’t pay 100% for my medical plans. I don’t support the bill that’s in the Senate right now, but only because I think the public option is a horrible, horrible idea. Its about as bad as ideas get.

      I want coverage for all Americans- but just make it to where you can only get on the government health care program if you don’t have coverage options elsewhere (job, spouse’s employment, etc).

      • diasdiem says:

        Even worse than mandating insurance coverage for everybody, forcing them to buy insurance from private companies that already don’t provide adequate coverage at affordable rates?

  5. wrjohnston91283 says:

    Regarding number 2, isn’t it too late to switch? Per IRS rules, you only have 30 days after a qualifying event to change your plans (from single to single + spouse/family). If your spouse was laid off more than 30 days ago, I don’t think you can change your plan anymore as you are more than 30 days past the qualifying event (ending of employement).

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I think there are always circumstances that would allow this, like if you got paid off during that period of time, got COBRA, but got married during that time as well. You wouldn’t previously qualify to join a spouse’s plan because you didn’t have a spouse. But now you do, and presumably, there’s a loophole for that.

      • Eryk says:

        Another thing to add on…while the IRS mandates that employers have 30 days to have their QSC (Qualified Status Change), employers can be more generous than the rules, just not less generous. One of the clients I work on allows their employees 90 days to change.

        Most plans also account for a certain % increase in medical costs as a QSC – since people’s COBRA bills will be going up 65% in these cases, alot of employers would consider that a QSC as well.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Yes, but you are losing COBRA coverage, and loss of insurance coverage is a qualifying event. It’s the same as if you waived coverage through your employer at the end of the year – you then become eligible on a spouse’s plan.

      • Elvisisdead says:

        Well, you’re not ending COBRA coverage – that lasts for 18 months. It’s just the subsidy that ends. So, you have no qualifying life event. You’re just stuck with a full share of COBRA until an open season or qualifying life event happens.

  6. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    He who makes the wisest choice regarding COBRA becomes…COBRA Commander.

  7. Tightlines says:

    Your COBRA Subsidy Is Ending, What Now?

    Thank baby Jesus you live in a country where you have the FREEDOM to choose between paying the mortgage or your kids’ health insurance.

    • mac-phisto says:

      oh, don’t be so dramatic. there are plenty of other options:
      1) hold a bake sale
      2) place donation cans at your favorite merchants
      3) cash in your retirement accounts to pay your premiums

      see?

  8. henrygates3 says:

    I didn’t qualify for COBRA subsidy, so I went with a lousy private insurance plan that would probably keep me alive but bankrupt us if anything actually happened. That is what these unemployed people will have to do also. My COBRA would have been $2,000 a month. Fortunately we did qualify for CHIP, so the kids are taken care of, but my wife and I are left with crossing our fingers – we still pay $250/mo for ourselves combined, though. The subsidy was just another expensive bandaid for the real problem – sky high health insurance costs – that got put on the US credit card.

    • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

      Sometimes you have to use credit until a better solution can be found.

    • Momto3BlackLabs says:

      We’re in the same boat. My family didn’t qualify for a COBRA subsidy because my company was less than 20 employees; therefore, no mandated COBRA coverage. To pay my premium in full would have been $1,100 a month–not an option while getting unemployment.

      At least your kids are covered by CHIP–we couldn’t qualify for that for our son. I found us a private policy that covers primary care visits with a $30 copay and $15 generic prescriptions without having to meet our deductible. I went with this plan because generally all we use our insurance for is office visits for things like the flu, ear infections and the occasional minor injury. Hopefully we never have to use it for something serious requiring us to meet our deductible first because our deductible is $7,500. That was our only option that was anywhere near affordable on unemployment. Sucks.

  9. eviltwinskippie says:

    The last time we were paying COBRA, our family health coverage was $1400 a month. We paid it, even though it decimated our savings. While we were paying it, we went shopping for private health insurance. We were offered a plan, which was reasonable in price, but it was for catastrophic coverage only, *provided* that none of the myriad pre-existing conditions were responsible. Considering two of my children have UC, they could have said that any of the medical problems they develop were related. Not to mention, even with paying the insurance, we’d still have to pay out of pocket for their medications for their UC. That would have been literally THOUSANDS per month on top of the premium payments.

    Yeah, private insurance is SO not an option for SO many people.

    • TheLemon says:

      I feel your pain, as they say. Spouse and I have been self-employed for years now, which means no group insurance. We’ve been paying for an individual plan for us and the two kids for years. When I tell people how much we pay, they are absolutely shocked, but that’s because no one realizes just how horribly expensive it really is when you’re on your own. We pay nearly twice our mortgage each month in premiums alone. I’ve seriously considered dumping it a few times and putting that money into an account, being a cash patient for everything. But that dread of “what if something big happens” is too powerful, and I can’t let it go. Especially because if we ever tried to apply for a new policy, we’d be hit so hard with pre-existing conditions that any benefits would quickly become moot.

      All we can do is sit tight and hope our kids can make it through college with whatever we have left.

  10. diasdiem says:

    To paraphrase Senator Grayson:

    5.) Don’t get sick

    6.) If you get sick, die quickly.

  11. LogicalOne says:

    Now will you believe me when I say that health insurance isn’t the cure, it’s part of the disease?

    90% of the population is happy with their healthcare because 90% of the population is shielded from the actual costs of healthcare. They never know what the premiums are because their employers pay most of premiums. They never know how much the doctors and hospitals are charging because the doctors submit the bills directly to the insurance companies.
    People yell and scream because the price of gasoline went up a few cents. They know about that because there are 20-foot high signs outside every gas station displaying the price. Try, just try to find out how much a doctor, clinic, or hospital charges for something, and you’ll be treated like a child: “Oh, don’t be concerned about that. You should be assured that we provide the best level of care.”

    Insurance adds one more layer of cost onto the system and hides the real costs from consumers. Doctors and providers charge what they do because there is no system of checks and balances (Ahem, free-market, ahem.) in their pricing decisions.

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      You’ve hit the nail on the head with the ENTIRE health insurance industry – both private (ie, insurance) and governmental (Medicare/Medicaid). The consumer simply doesn’t know how much he is spending.

      A quick question to try and answer right now – how much would a complete physical cost at your primary provider? I can honestly tell you that I don’t know mine… and I should since I use HSA’s and own my practice. That’s part of the problem with health insurance.

      But health insurance is also FILLED with pathos in its reasoning. “Oh my gosh, mom has (insert type here) cancer. Why isn’t the insurance company willing to pay for this experimental treatment?” The real question would be… if you had to pay for that experimental treatment, would you? Would you be willing to use your entire life savings, bankrupt yourself and endure financial hardships for the rest of your life to save your life? That’s a very, very difficult thing to answer for most people.

      I have said for years that the way to fix health care isn’t to jump to a single payer system – that doesn’t fix the actual problems of cost – its to simply make three or four changes.

      1 – move everyone to an HSA and have employers chip in for their employees. Employees will now see how much their company is spending (and how much would otherwise go to their salaries). And, when they use healthcare, they see the dent in that account as it is theirs.

      2 – Malpractice reform – except in cases of gross negligence, limit malpractice awards. (I’d even go a step further to true tort reform in general, but that’s beyond the scope). As someone who has done the taxes for ER practices and individual doctors, that price is WAY too high (as high as $15 a patient, not including the cost for tail coverage)

      3 – Make insurance portable – since you have your own HSA and employers are simply dropping money into it, health “insurance” is portable. Oh, but what about catastrophic insurance?

      4 – Create true “catastrophic insurance” – basically auto insurance for your health. No exemptions for pre-existing conditions unless there is a gap in coverage. And these premiums could be paid out of your HSA.

      Its not that difficult. But until patients start seeing price tags, costs will continue to rise.

      • john says:

        Amen! Common sense statement, but we all know common sense left America many decades ago.

      • mac-phisto says:

        HSAs are great, but i don’t think they’re the answer. they’re more like a band-aid. i could save up my whole life without ever dipping into my HSA & a single bout of cancer would wipe out everything i’ve added to it. likewise, i could save for 2 years & be in the same situation. over time, won’t the costs of catastrophic insurance simply escalate? furthermore, how does showing what people put into an insurance plan create transparency in health care costs? i know what my insurance costs now. it doesn’t change the fact that i don’t know what it would cost me if i were hospitalized for something. it doesn’t change that many providers have multiple costs for their services (in-network, out-of-network, government, cash).

        i simply don’t think we can trust our country’s care to private corporations any longer. over the last 10 years, premiums have increase 131%, insurance companies as a whole are on the top of the earnings charts (including the executive pay chart) & yet more & more americans are losing access to coverage every year.

        finally, until transparency in cost & transparency in care (such as doctor success rates & hospital survival rates) exist & are accessable by anybody & everybody, i don’t think medical malpractice reform is a good idea. we’ve already given health professionals & insurance companies a considerable amount of protection against liability in the past (consider HMOs or the fact that in most states, hospital survival rates are considered “proprietary information”) & yet costs still skyrocket. if medical malpractice reform is to succeed, consumers MUST have access to data that allows them to make informed decisions about their care BEFORE signing on the dotted line.

        • TuxthePenguin says:

          You’re right, HSA’s aren’t enough. Couple those with real catastrophic coverage – aka, insurance like auto insurance. It doesn’t cover gas, car washes and oil changes. Only true, serious damage. Basically, have an insurance that has a high deductible (I’m talking 10k or so) and then everything past that is paid for. Auto insurance companies still make money…

          As for insurance companies living high on the hog, the profit margin for insurance companies are far, far smaller than most other industries. They make money, but not as easily as we tend to think they do.

          • mac-phisto says:

            the thing i think you’re ignoring with the concept of HSA + high-deductible insurance is that health costs continue to outpace both inflation & wages every year. as these costs continue to rise, eventually the high-deductible insurance will be responsible for more claim activity (resulting in higher costs). is your answer to just continually increase the deductible to maintain a reasonable cost for the supplementary insurance? by requiring individuals to fund the deductible, we’re simply transferring more of the burden onto the individual & away from insurance companies. & you can expect that burden to increase as costs increase.

            that might work – for now. but a decade down the road, we may very well be in a worse position than we are now (it’s a certainty if healthcare costs continue to outpace inflation & wages). & if that’s the case, than we should take into consideration a similar benefit transition & the impact it’s had on our standard of living – the 401(k). some experts predict a looming retirement crisis as america’s first generation without a pension plan begins to reach retirement age. http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/Extra/america-s-looming-retirement-crisis.aspx

            it’s quite possible that a similar endeavor with healthcare will only serve to widen the coverage gap, leaving more americans without coverage & less of us footing the bill. & that’s a recipe for disaster.

      • ARP says:

        But HSA’s don’t address the issue of chronic illness or conditions. Those things that aren’t considered catastrophic, but can quickly drain eveything you’ve saved- diabetes, HIV, arthritius, etc.

        As Med-mal reform. Med-mal awards make up approximately 1-3% of costs. So a single year’s raise in rates destroys that. It’s simply not true that tort reform will have any significant impact on insurance or healthcare rates as much as people wish they would. Now, there are a few specific fields where it could potentially help (e.g. obstetrician), but on the whole isn’t worth it.

      • Daemon Xar says:

        If you really think tort reform would have any positive effect on malpractice, you should read the RAND report on it, or look at California post-MICRA. Costs didn’t go down in CA when they capped damages at $250,000, and it disproportionately affected those with few resources and the worst injuries.

        The costs of healthcare are minimally impacted by lawsuits. I’ve seen as low as 2-3% (LA Times), and as high as 8-10% (AMA, hardly an objective source). Seriously. It’s easy to take pot-shots at attorneys, and lord knows I enjoy it too. But it’s a red herring that the insurance industry loves because nobody likes ambulance chasers.

    • dragonfire81 says:

      I wholeheartedly agree with your post, more transparency would make a huge difference.

  12. wooHoo says:

    Regarding number 2. Once you are eligible for a spouse’s plan, then you are no longer eligible for the Subsidy.

    If you get married while under the subsidy, you will lose the subsidy and need to start paying the full COBRA premium.

    • greendragon2000 says:

      Wrong, that is only if the spouse is eligible for other group health coverage. If there is no other group health coverage, then this is not affected. The spouse, however is not applied to the reduction amount as they were not on your benefits during employment.

  13. theSuperman says:

    After losing my job, Cobra cost $100 a month. Now the subsidy is ending, so it will cost a little over $300 a month. I was hoping that there would be an extension, but I guess no such luck.

    • zlionsfan says:

      But people like you and me are lucky … individual coverage is a lot cheaper than coverage for a family (which, duh, but still, the quote from CNNMoney above doesn’t list the COBRA increase for an individual).

      It still sucks, and of course it still doesn’t address catastrophic illness (considering the trouble I have getting my COBRA coverage to pay for small things, I have zero confidence it would pay for anything big), but I guess it could be worse. We could be responsible for insurance for a whole family.

  14. FatLynn says:

    Also check the options in your state. Illinois, for example, has a public plan for people who have been denied coverage elsewhere.

    • LogicalOne says:

      The Illinois plan (ICHIP) merely forces the private insurance carrier under the program to accept you, regardless of pre-conditions. It does not set a ceiling on the premiums you must pay for the coverage. In fact, it’s highly likely you’ll pay more than if you could get individual coverage.
      And who is the private carrier that has the state contract that must insure you? Why it’s good old Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois, the carrier with the largest market share in the state. They’ve probably already turned you down or have offered you a plan with outrageous premiums. Now they get to offer you the same plan, but for more money!

    • alaetra says:

      In addition, Illinois allows people who have exhausted COBRA to join under their HIPAA plan. The rates are then governed by where you live and how old you are. Yes, it’s Blue Cross Blue Shield, but they’ve come through for me 9/10 times.

  15. BrianneG78 says:

    My fiance will be added to my work plan as soon as his COBRA subsidy runs out. (If it’s nine months then he has about three more months.) It’s not that much different than what he was paying on COBRA but he may need to get all new doctors.

    • greendragon2000 says:

      Keep in mind, if he was eligible for your benefits upon his termination, the IRS regulations do state you WILL be penalized 110% each month you took the subsidy and were eligible for other benefits. This is a cautionary tale that needs to be known.

  16. kaceetheconsumer says:

    When we faced COBRA running out awhile back when my husband was between jobs, our emergency plan was simple: I’m a Canadian citizen and so is our daughter, so we’d move there. Since I’m the one with ongoing health issues that would automatically exclude me from private insurance, and since if I was non-covered for even one day then no employer-based system would cover my conditions for some time (usually at least 12 months) later, if we reached that point, my daughter and I would go to Canada and wait for my Aussie husband to get clearance to move there later, and let him take care of selling the house here while he waited (and as an English-speaking, Commonwealth citizen, PhD-holder who is married to a Canadian citizen, he’d get in pretty quickly). If he absolutely had to get care, he could go home to Oz.

    But that’s not an option for most other people. For them, I expect the option is to explore the joy of financial hell, especially in light of the changes to personal bankruptcy requirements from a few years ago. Or get sick and die. Death is always an option.

    • thisistobehelpful says:

      You both can also go back to the UK instantly being citizens of the commonwealth. Do you have an extra commonwealth sitting around that’s up for a marriage of convenience? I cook and clean and like video games.

      • kaceetheconsumer says:

        Actually I don’t think my husband can do the UK thing because he doesn’t have it close enough in his lineage (unless something has changed since the last time we looked into such things, which is possible).

        But my father was born in Scotland so both I and my daughter can get UK citizenship that way. Might be hard, though, since I’m estranged from my parents and don’t have any paperwork.

        Unfortunately I don’t have any spare relatives to marry off to you…my daughter might be pretty advanced for four years old but I don’t think memorization of all things dinosaurs and periodic table actually qualify her for marriage just yet. ;)

  17. krom says:

    What? I had no idea about this. I was laid off in Nov 08 and just let my insurance lapse. Fark.

  18. NickelMD says:

    If you are (for any reason) losing your coverage, before it runs out, take a visit to your primary care doctor. Tell them you will be losing your insurance and ask for at least 6 months of refills. If you are on expensive brand name drugs, ask if there is a cheaper alternative. Also, ask the biller if you can be seen at the office without insurance for the same cost as Medicare or Medicaid patients are seen (especially if you are paying cash, they are often willing to give you the lowest price if you ask since your billing costs will be minimal.)

    Keeping your relationship (even if you are paying out of pocket) with your primary care doctor can be priceless…. if you get a UTI, having someone you can see for $60 is a lot cheaper than going to an ER.

    And if you can’t keep seeing the same doctor, look into lower cost clinics in your area. Look for Medicaid clinics…. they may have cheaper prices. You can also get some things addressed at places like Planned Parenthood or similar. Also, BRUSH and FLOSS!

    The point is, be proactive. An ounce of prevention is not only worth a pound of cure, its a damn sight cheaper as well.

  19. etz says:

    At my employer, we’re having a bit of an argument as to how to interpret the D.O.L’s description of eligibility for the COBRA subsidy. The D.O.L. website says ….

    The premium reduction for COBRA continuation coverage is available to “assistance eligible individuals”. An “assistance eligible individual” is the employee or a member of his/her family who:
    * is eligible for COBRA continuation coverage at any time between 9/12008 and 12/31/2009;
    * elects COBRA coverage; and
    * is eligible for COBRA as a result of the employee’s involuntary termination between 9/1/2008 and 12/31/2009.

    How does that work for someone who is laid off as of the last day of the year? I mean, assume that the person works their full day on 12/31/09, and that’s it…. 1/1/2010 is their first day as unemployed.

    We’ve been told by someone that the COBRA eligibility does not start until 1/1/2010, even though the layoff took place the day before within 2009. Because 1/1/2010 is outside the scope of the program then no subsidy is available. If that’s true, then why include 12/31/09 within the

    Comments?

    • Eryk says:

      Great question about the dates.

      The information you received is correct. COBRA eligibility doesn’t begin until 1/1/2010. Coverage thru the employer plan continues thru 12/31/2009, and its not possible to be eligible for COBRA and be eligible for the employer’s plan at the same time. Subsidy would not be applied to this termination.

      While I don’t have a source to quote for you, I’ve worked in the industry for six years, with close involvement in the COBRA subsidy program, and with a top HR Outsourcing company.

    • greendragon2000 says:

      The way that was supposed to work (before the changes), there are two dates related to COBRA Benefits

      1. Qualifying Event Date: (Date your employment terminated)
      2. COBRA coverage start date: (Date benefits start, may not always be the same as QE Date.)

      Example: if you were terminated on 12/01/2009 and benefits stopped 12/02/2009 and you were laid off, then you would be eligible for the stimulus subsidy

      If you were terminated on 12/01/2009 and benefits stopped 01/01/2009 then you would not be eligible for the subsidy.

      Benefits do not terminate until midnight the date of the event, which is called Per Diem, or can stop midnight the last date of the month, which is called extend to end.

      I know this technically does not apply at this point, but if you were eligible for COBRA and think you are eligible for the reduction, call the agency handling your COBRA benefits to get further information. If it isnt too late to elect, or you have been given a second chance already due to the reduction, I would say go for it,.

      It does not hurt to ask your benefits administrator handling your COBRA benefits.

  20. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    if you have a chronic condition that is considered rare, you may qualify for “premium assistance” for COBRA through the national organization for rare disorders.
    this is the time of year to hit them up because they get a lot of their donations around december/january from big corporations trying to take an end of year tax break or getting their donations out of the way for 2010.
    they always run out fast, so get your application in early.

    http://www.rarediseases.org/

  21. Hmmmmm says:

    “It may be possible to find comparable, or even slightly less- expensive, plans….”

    And it is also possible to win the lottery! Good Luck with those options.

  22. roguemarvel says:

    When my husband and I moved and I had to leave my job we lost our insurance. Rather then paying for cobra or taking the school offered insurance for my husband (he decided to go back to school thats why we moved) we got temporary insurance for a year. We pay a lower price($75 a month for both of us) for private insurance but we have to reapply once the year is up so if we develop any conditions during the year those could count as preexisting and we would be unable to reapply. It’s not a perfect system but it keeps us covered for general visits and in case anything terrible happens. Once my husband graduates and we move and get better jobs we will get a more permanent and stable solution.

    I recommend it to others in between jobs, but then we are young 20 somethings with no depends or prexestings so I understand its not an option for some people.

    The only other downside is it doesn’t cover medication. I just got a prescription today and I had to pay the full $100. That really made my day, but at lest I had the insurance to see the doctor who wrote the prescription!

  23. SecretAgentWoman says:

    Got pre-existing health conditions? No private insurer will touch you, so, do what the right wing suggest: die quickly.

  24. ReformCobraNow says:

    Those who lost their jobs prior to the September 1, 2008 eligibility cut-off date never received any assistance with their COBRA premiums. Many if not most of those same people are not even eligible for COBRA now because their 18 months of coverage has expired. Even those who were lucky enough to receive the subsidy in the first place are starting to loose their coverage and are joining the estimated 50 million uninsured.

    According to a Harvard study, uninsured adults are 80% more likely to die from a traumatic injury than those who have insurance. Currently their are two bills working their way through congress that may offer some relief. For more information on these bills and other options to COBRA, please see our website at http://cobrareform.weebly.com/.

  25. SoCalGNX says:

    Let them eat cake!!! Yes, if you are on unemployment, where would you get the money for the hefty premium? Making a $300 a month one is hard enough.

  26. u1itn0w2day says:

    ‘ shop for private health care insurance ‘ -uh…

    Isn’t the lack of ability to truely shop health care insurance part of the problem we’re in now ?

    Clinics and high deductables here you come.

  27. lakecountrydave says:

    when I was laid off my COBRA payment for my wife and I would have been greater than my unemployment insurance payments. My UI was the state (WI) maximum payment. Even with a 65% subsidy it would have been impossible to have a roof, utilities and food. We need to break up the insurance companies and the banks!