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KAJERO Posts: 300
8/6/13 2:51 P

After all the work I did researching policies it was discovered that I have a pre-existing condition and qualify for nothing, so I must enroll in COBRA. It will be interesting to see what happens in October. I have been told that I might wind up paying $200 more or 10% less.

I really shouldn't complain about the premium.. I was hospitalized for a week in 2011. In addition to that I had two bike accidents one requiring an ambulance and 4 day hospital stay, the other was outpatient surgery. Both accidents were a result of stupidity of my part. I have since learned how to be VERY CAREFUL AND OBSERVANT! (plus I got a new bike)

I have also seen a mental health doctor numerous times.
I've used the prescription co-pay at least five times a year.

In the last 5 years I bet I have had nearly 85k in claims.

So today I am happy about having the insurance even if it is expensive.

Note: One of my friends is paying $562 a month. She said it the premium went up the minute she hit 62. She told me that one of her prescriptions was around $400. Her plan paid $0.44. Not a typo. She also has a pre-existing condition so she also has limited insurance options. I wonder how Obama care will affect her and me.

Edited by: KAJERO at: 8/6/2013 (15:02)
KAJERO Posts: 300
8/1/13 6:39 P

Oops. COBRA is $571 a month. Still less than my brother's house payment though.

ANARIE Posts: 13,192
8/1/13 6:32 P

GRAB that COBRA offer! I've never heard of a COBRA offer that low! It was going to be over $800 for me, several years ago, with no pre-existing conditions. For most people, COBRA is more than rent or mortgage.

What will happen in October or January depends greatly on what state you live in. If you're in one of the states that's not participating, you're pretty well screwed. If you're in a compliant state, you can probably get similar coverage to your COBRA for about 30% less, and if your income for the year was under $46K for a single person, you'll get some level of tax credit next year. (It's only like 5-10% of the insurance cost if you're at 46K, but it gets bigger as income decreases.) But there's apparently no tax credit for people unfortunate enough to live in states that don't expand Medicaid, and some of those states are not developing exchanges with any sort of affordable options.

(I'm actually, seriously considering moving in January when my temporary on-site position ends. My permanent work is online, so I could live anywhere I can get internet. My sales tax and I are probably going to head for a state where I can get health insurance.)

DMJAKES Posts: 1,635
8/1/13 4:15 P

Kajero - I would second what the previous poster have to look back at what your usage has been in the past. A lot of doctor/specialist visits, or just every once in a great while? Do you take a lot of prescription meds, or no? If you answered yes to either of those, it might be better to stick with COBRA, at least for now. I'd also look into the "drug help" programs that some of the manufacturers and charities offer, just in case you end up going with a high deductible plan. Depending on your income, you can get meds for little to nothing if you qualify.

Your former employer will probably know soon (if they don't already) if their premiums will be increasing in January----a phone call wouldn't hurt.

KAJERO Posts: 300
8/1/13 1:50 P

Looks like I don't have an alternative to COBRA so far. Depression is a pre-existing condition and two of my applications have been denied. I wonder what will happen in January. I wonder if my COBRA will become more expensive!

MEGAPEEJ Posts: 732
7/31/13 6:56 P

Only you can decide what works best for you, and it's really important that you weigh the pros and cons of the different types of coverage and consider your own needs and health.

Low premium/high deductible is the type of plan I have, and I refer to it as "catastrophic coverage" - if I get the flu or a pain or need to get a note to be off work for an illness, I'm paying everything out of pocket because I will never meet my deductible. I basically need to take care of myself. But if I get diagnosed with cancer or hit by a car, I'm paying a few thousand dollars instead of a few hundred thousand dollars. This plan works for me because I am in overall good health and am looking at only a few hundred dollars in medical bills a year, but Just In Case...

Those with greater healthcare needs that will use the system more may need the opposite type of plan, where they pay more up front, but know they will meet their deductible quickly and will save that way.

It's also important to do your research when getting new coverage on exclusions and pre-existing conditions. COBRA may be expensive but coverage is identical to what you had prior, and for employee group plans that generally means no exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

Do your research, crunch some numbers, and pick the plan best for you. The only thing I will absolutely say you must do is don't let your coverage lapse - COBRA for a few months while you do more research is an option, and a lapse can lead to serious issues.

KAJERO Posts: 300
7/31/13 5:54 P

I need help with selecting a health insurance policy. COBRA is really expensive. Can anyone give me advice. I looked on eHealth. I talked to a customer service person and he really helped me out. He provided reasonable quotes, I just don't know what to select.

Should I select a high deductible and lower premium?

Cobra will be 443 a month!

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