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Steps to Take When You Lose Your Job and Consider Signing Up For COBRA

Posted on: April 10th, 2011 by Cobra Insurance Guide

Medical InvoiceLosing your job can be incredibly stressful, as can be the looming costs of signing up to continue health insurance coverage under COBRA insurance which can be incredibly expensive, running many families upwards of $1,000/month.  So what do you do if you lose your job and are getting ready to enroll in the costly COBRA insurance continuation plan?

  1. Reduce Costs: When you lose your job, one of the most important things to do whether or not you elect to sign up for COBRA insurance is to reduce costs.  Think about where you can cut back  – eating out less, shopping less, buying generic products, traveling less, reducing utility bills, and more – examine your budget closely and find ways to cut costs.  This will be important not only because you will have less income coming in but also because you will soon be facing an expensive COBRA insurance premium bill to keep your health insurance.
  2. Explore Other Options: COBRA insurance is not the only health insurance option out there.  There are many alternative health insurance plans that may offer less expensive health insurance plans.  You should consider individual health insurance plans, private family health insurance, catastrophic insurance, short term health insurance, and high deductible health insurance.  Explore each option carefully and compare it to COBRA.  Consider your age, health, and any pre-existing conditions or ongoing medical needs.
  3. Check out Governmental Insurance Programs: The state and federal government offer many insurance plans that can benefit adults, seniors, and children who are under a specific income level.  Check out both federal and state run insurance programs to find out who in your family can qualify.  In many states, you will find that your children can qualify for state run medical insurance plans that will dramatically cut your expenses.
  4. Consider a Spouse’s Insurance Plan: Have you thought about your spouse’s health insurance options?  You may have previously had your family covered under your plan because it was better or less expensive, but now it is time to look into your spouse’s options.  Explore the costs and enrollment time and requirements for your spouse’s insurance.  Likely it will be less expensive to add people to their plan than continue insurance under COBRA long term or find a new plan.
  5. File for Disability Immediately if it is an Option: If you are losing your job due to a disability, you should immediately file for Social Security and disability.  This will help you to get through tough times and many times help to cover insurance plans.  If you are not sure if you are eligible under Social Security or Disability law, check with the Department of Labor to learn more.
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