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When is COBRA Insurance the Right Choice?
We understand that knowing whether or not COBRA is the right option for you or a family member can be a very difficult decision. In fact it is probably the question we hear most often. Knowing when COBRA insurance is the best option can be confusing, especially when you begin to compare COBRA coverage to other plans, examining the coverage aspects, costs, deductibles, and more. Hopefully this article will help you determine when to continue insurance coverage with COBRA and when to look for other options so you can find the best possible plan for you.
Who Should Continue Coverage With COBRA?
There are three main groups of people who generally will find that COBRA insurance is a strong option for their health care. They are:
- People with health problems who are currently being treated or know they will need treatment soon. This includes people with preexisting conditions who need ongoing care. Normally for people in this situation it can be very difficult to find private insurance, and if they do it is extremely expensive or their preexisting condition is excluded in the policy.
- People who have been denied from health insurance coverage in the past and/or will qualify for a new employer's plan or Medicare shortly. If you only need a very short-term solution, COBRA can be the best option because you will not have to research and adjust to a new plan. Although it is expensive, it is a short-term expense.
- Anyone who is pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant in the near future or planning on other surgery or procedure. New plans normally will not cover these events or may charge extremely high premiums to cover these things.
Who Should Consider Alternatives to COBRA Insurance?
In general there are three main groups of people who will find that they can save money or find similar insurance coverage by choosing an alternative. These include:
- Anyone who can qualify for a spouse's health insurance plan and therefore benefit from a subsidized insurance cost. If your spouse has insurance, reach out to find out if you can enroll before the open enrollment window. If you cannot, consider COBRA or short term insurance for the interim.
- Anyone who is generally healthy and does not have any preexisting conditions. In most situations if you are relatively healthy you can find a private insurance plan that provides the same benefits at a much lower cost.
- Anyone who lives near or below the federal poverty line and is eligible for a governmental insurance plan at a free or reduced cost. These plans are offered through the federal and state government and may offer a better, less expensive option.
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