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Tips for Cutting Monthly COBRA Insurance Expenses

Posted on: August 6th, 2012 by Kristen Marie

For anyone on COBRA insurance, or considering COBRA, you know just how expensive it can be.  Many people find that they are spending over $1000 monthly on COBRA premiums and for many it is just too expensive.  Luckily there are some ways you can save money and cut your monthly expenses so that you monthly bill is more affordable.

1.  Look at each family member separately:  One of the key mistakes people make when considering COBRA is believing that every family member must make the same decision;  when in fact each individual family member can elect to sign up for COBRA or not sign up for COBRA.  This means that you can pick and choose who signs up for COBRA and who uses an alternate insurance option.  In most cases, you can save the most money by signing up anyone with preexisting conditions or major medical needs for COBRA (since private insurance will be more expensive or they will be denied) and then sign everyone up for a less expensive individual/family plan.

2.  Consider state/federal insurance plans for children:  Many states have their own health insurance plans for children.  Many time any child without health insurance can qualify for these plans and they are normally known as CHIPs.  They come free or ay a very reduced cost and are available through state and federal governments.  Considering the tip above, you may want to sign up your children for state plans and remain on COBRA as an adult.

3.  Explore private insurance plans:  One of the best ways to save money is to look at private insurance plans.  These plans come in a variety of options – including HMOS, PPOs, and plans with less coverage – and can save people as much as 65% monthly for a full coverage plan.  The easiest way to learn what plans are out there is to get a free quote that shows insurance options.  Remember that in tip #1 you learned that you can sign family members up for separate plans, so putting healthy folks on a private plan can save lots of money.

4.  Seek part time work with benefits:  Even though you may be seeking full time work, sometimes if your health insurance costs are high it may make sense to take on part time work with benefits.  Many people do not realize that many companies offer benefits to part time employees.  Some places to look at are local schools and government offices and large companies like Starbucks, Target, Land’s End, Whole Foods, Home Depot, UPS, and Costco.  Even though the pay may be less, the benefits can make it worth it because they will save you major money on health insurance, especially if you have a preexisting condition or other major medical needs.

5.  Consider school and alumni health insurance plans:  Unknown to many, there are actually many alumni health insurance plans on the market that may offer discounted insurance to you if you graduated from their university.  You can easily find out about these plans by contacting your university alumni office.  Additionally, many community colleges, state schools, and universities offer health insurance options to students.  Consider enrolling in a class or as a part time student to qualify.  Not only can you increase your job prospects by learning a new skill, but you can easily access health insurance options.

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