Friday, January 9, 2009

COBRA insurance payments can eat up most of your Unemployment Insurance Benefit

This is why it's important to shop around for health insurance after getting laid-off. (This of course is difficult if you have preexisting conditions in your family.) Don't just accept the COBRA insurance without looking at other health insurance options as well.

From the Baltimore Sun:

Report: Health coverage eats up unemployment benefits

A report issued today by the consumer health group Families USA finds that the average costs for family health insurance coverage eats up almost 84 percent of monthly unemployment benefits.

The study looked at Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) coverage, which allows a laid-off worker to retain employer-sponsored insurance but without the business contributions. That makes coverage much more expensive for individuals.

On average, national unemployment benefits are $1,278 a month compared with family COBRA premiums of $1,069 -- or 83.6 percent of those benefits. In Maryland, the average monthly benefit is $1,340 compared with a COBRA cost of $1,058 -- 79 percent of the total.

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