As the economic situation gets worse, more and more companies are laying off staff, and thus many more people are facing unemployment. Accompanying that is the loss of insurance coverage, which can be considered more important than the loss of income. For those with families in need of health insurance coverage, this can be a devastating blow. Insurance companies these days have become inherently scrutinizing when it comes to those who have had a lapse of insurance for a period of time. Additionally, spending a few months without coverage can exacerbate pre-existing conditions, making matters even worse.
Most laid off employees are covered by COBRA, which is a Federally mandated program that allows the employee to continue coverage of his health insurance for 18 months after leaving his job. Because they are group policies, the costs are usually more reasonable than if you were to go get a plan just for yourself. However, if you still don’t have a job with income, then you may not be able to afford to take advantage of COBRA.
It is worth investigating the options out there if you find you can’t take advantage of COBRA coverage. Independent providers often offer short term or temporary health insurance, usually lasting six months at a time. These can be beneficial if you need to keep your family covered while you are between jobs. They can also often be less expensive than COBRA coverage would have been, especially if your employer paid part of your premiums.
Reasonable health insurance is something that we are in need of, and hopefully the government will begin to pick up the slack for those who are truly in need. Proper and affordable health care should be a right and not a privilege that is awarded only to the rich.
If your employer doesn’t offer health insurance, or if you’ve lost your job, there are still options. Often, some states will offer discounted plans to their citizens. Barring that, do some research online. The internet is still the best and most efficient resource for investigating health care coverage options.
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