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           01 June, 2023

Category:  Press » Finances


Individual Medical Insurance Offers COBRA Alternative

         Views: 1829
2009-05-14 03:28:23     
Jesse Seagle

As the job market declines, the population of uninsured Americans swells. And paying for health insurance, along with everything else, weighs heavily on a multitude of minds these days. When it comes to options, COBRA may be the buzzword, but a alternative called individual medical insurance may offer a more palatable solution.

Unemployment rose from 7.5 to 8.1 percent in February 2009-its highest rate in more than 25 years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A study by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, April 2008, indicates that each one percent increase in the national unemployment rate leads to more than 1 million additional people losing their health insurance.

Through COBRA, employees who lose their jobs are able to continue employer-sponsored coverage for up to 18 months. However, they may pay 110 percent of the cost of the traditional health insurance premium for COBRA continuation coverage.

Relief seemed to appear in February 2009 when President Obama signed the $787 billion economic stimulus package, which included a subsidy covering 65 percent of COBRA premiums for the first nine months of unemployment. This assistance is available to eligible workers who have lost or will lose their jobs as a result of the current economic recession between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009.

Still, COBRA remains out of reach for many collecting unemployment checks and struggling to pay for bare necessities. Pre-subsidy annual COBRA premiums average $4,400 for individuals and $11,000 for families, according to Kaiser Family Foundation statistics.

"As Anthem Blue Cross representatives , we understand that these are tough economic times. We understand that people are worried about keeping their job, and if they should lose their job, the struggle to make ends meet with COBRA premiums seems overwhelming," said Dennis Alexander, benefits advocate at Health Coverage Insurance Services, Inc. "We want people to know they have options, and that individual medical insurance is a viable alternative."

Typically, individual plan premiums are significantly less expensive than COBRA. In addition to lower monthly payments, Individual plans offer greater ease of qualification and enrollment. With individual health insurance, there is no lengthy underwriting process and the applicant can complete the entire process online within a matter of minutes. If approved after answering a handful of health-related questions, they will receive their approval confirmation, ID card and certificate.

Individual health insurance coverage periods may last as few as 30 days or as long as you want. Traditional individual major medical insurance coverage once approved would cover pre-existing diseases and physical conditions that might not be coveres by some other health plans.

People who are in good health and anticipate the need of coverage are typically ideal candidates for Individual Health Insurance. Those with serious health conditions are unlikely to qualify. Anyone trying to choose between Individual Health Insurance and COBRA continuation coverage under their current health plan can visit alternative to COBRA health insurance plans to determine their Individual Health Insurance eligibility.

"If there is any question in people`s minds about what they should do, it is always best to talk to an insurance professional," Dennis advises.

Specialized in: Blue Cross Of California - Instant Quotes - Local Agent - Agent - Representative - Blue Cross Agent - Blue Shield - Blue Shield Agent - Dennis Alexander - Group Plans - Small Business - Self Employed - Med
URL: http://www.getmymedical.com
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