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Lose a Job, Lose Your Healthcare

You’ve heard about adding insult to injury. However, this situation is more like injury to the second power.

You’ve worked for your medium to large sized employer for years. You’ve earned a fair hourly wage or salary, but one of the reasons you stayed there was for the company’s benefits: health insurance, 401K matching, an HRA or Flex account, etc. Then one day through no fault of your own you get the dreaded pink slip in the mail and you join the ranks of the unemployed.

A few days later you get the letter from your company’s HR department informing you of your right to COBRA benefits so you can continue your health insurance. Your eyes pop out of your head when you see what the monthly premium is to keep the COBRA coverage. It is much higher than the payroll deductition for your out of pocket share of the premium was. How can you afford this hgher premium when you’ve just lost your income?

Even if you have suffcient savings to weather the storm and pay the COBRA premiums, if you and your family members are in good health you may find tremendous savings by shopping for health insurance in the individual health insurance market. While indvidual health insurance is medically underwritten, it is generally less expensive than COBRA premiums. It could save you a lot of money, even if you initially plan to keep it only for a couple months to a year.

It is smart to start shopping for health insurance coverage immediately while you and any family members are in good health. Just like banks are happy to give you a loan when you are flush with cash, it is easiest to get health insurance when your health is good.

Because indvidual health insurance is your own and not tied to a job it is entiely possible you may end up keeping the plan should you get a dream job offer from a smaller company that does not currently offer health insurance benefits. Or what if you deside to become a 1099 contractor, a consultant or self employed? Again, indvidual health insurance could be a great and cost effective solution for those situations.

So, what are you waiting for? Get a hold of an experienced health insurance broker and put them to work for you to help you find the right plan and benefits. Because health insurance carriers in the indivdual health insurance market in Colorado must file their rates with the Colorado Division of Insurance, you will find the exact same rates for the same plans whether you go through a broker or directly to the carrier.

An experienced broker will help you sort though the various plans and carriers to help you find the plan that best meets your needs and individual situation. Also, they will make the process easier and less time intensive so you can focus your efforts on the hunt for a new job or on starting your own business.

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