one girl’s guide to surviving unemployment

COBRA: the snake in the grass

Ah, COBRA. Look, you need medical insurance, there is no getting around that.

Make sure that you take a thourough look at the paperwork once it arrives. COBRA will keep you covered exactly as you were when you were working.

The downside to COBRA: how are you supposed to pay for it when you have no income?

The upside: Did you know that in the case of a lay off, your former employer is now required by law to cover 65% of the monthly premium. Makes the payments a little more manageable.  

In addition, COBRA can be (somewhat) retroactive in case of emergency – provided you DON’T decline coverage — you have 60 days to elect. Review your paperwork in detail to see if this is the best option for you.

At the end of the day, COBRA is awesome if you can afford it.

When when I lost my job, COBRA was far too expensive for me. (I was on the fancy-schmancy plan at work and wasn’t able to downgrade.) 

Recognizing that no insurance wasn’t an option, I looked into gap / short-term insurance. Many health insurance companies provide high-deductible plans for a reasonable cost. When looking into non-COBRA options, your first step may be to call your current/former insurance company and see what they can provide to you. The risk that you run with gap / temporary / short-term insurance is that often it does NOT cover anything pre-existing. This includes prescriptions.

Don’t panic – this an opportunity to get resourceful.

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