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How are you paying for health insurance if you are one of the millions recently laid off?

I know COBRA is available for many, but it is very expensive to keep up and runs only for a limited period. Questions like this have been asked before and those against governement supported health care just accused those who didn’t have health insurance as lazy losers. But with the economy crashing, the scenario has changed. If you aren’t employed anymore and have no income and little savings, what are you doing for health insurance?
TAT…I left my job and my COBRA payment was $1,200 a month for me and my family. When you are unemployed, that is a LOT of money and not “reasonable” as you describe it. Many don’t have enough money for rent and food, much less that kind of money.

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11 Responses to “How are you paying for health insurance if you are one of the millions recently laid off?”

  1. TAT said :

    There are many things that are expensive. COBRA is reasonable. If insurance is important to someone they need to make that sacrifice. I guess we should be paying for their food and homes. Those are expensive and a necessity. Where does it stop?

    Bad things happen. That is life. Hard times come and tough decisions have to be made. That still does not make it anyone else’s reponsibility to care for you. And you need to talk to COBRA again. That figure, according to the guy I just spoke to , seems inflated.

  2. zaza said :

    I honestly believe that if a person *wants* health care, as they do other insurances, they will find a way. I know so many people who could easily afford health insurance had they not run up credit card debt, bought more car and house than they needed, etc…….It is all your level of contentment. There are still people who live by their means.

    Otherwise, they will be perfectly happy to sit back and let the government provide it, which is not the role of the government.

    ** …..and we already provide health care for the very poor….

  3. Holy Cow said :

    My guess is they’re not.

    I see there are some naive posters here. I found myself laid off last year. I was 35. My COBRA payment? $345/month

    A private policy was $135/month. For my 45 year old coworker, a private policy $485/month not including her son and that was roughly half what the COBRA payment would have been.

    How can any sane person call that reasonable for someone who just lost their job?

  4. Sassy One said :

    Fortunately for me, I still have a job, but I have friends and family who have lost theirs. They were not able to keep up with their Cobra payments, and some have lost their homes, not because they made a bad loan, but because both husband and wife lost their jobs. Some have dropped health care in order to pay their mortgage. I think this is one of the reasons Obama added 54 billion to strenghten welfare, as he I believe is looking to the future. I think we will have at least another 2 years of job loss. If that money does not get into the welfare system, we are doomed.
    I think most of the people that use the term lazy losers, are losers themselves. Or still living off daddy.

  5. Agent Smith said :


  6. teechurgye said :

    A lot of people go to emergency rooms because legally, ER’s cant deny treatment despite ability to pay.

  7. Lh T said :

    COBRA is not a reasonable alternative. If my husband were to lose his job right now (and his benefits obviously) The COBRA plan would cost us around $1200 a month to cover our family.
    We couldn’t afford to pay that NOW with both of us working, let alone if one of us lost our job.
    In what world is $1200 a month a reasonable option?

  8. John A said :

    With a credit card with 0% APR until June. But my premium is just $230/mo.

  9. Adam A said :

    Wow, $1,200 a month, you must have had really awesome coverage with your previous job. My COBRA was $600 for me, wife, and 3 kids and that was higher than most people I know who have used it. I know COBRA matches your insurance you had with your employer and the better coverage or higher cost insurance you had, the more it will be.

    But like the other person said, emergency services can not refuse treatment so it’s not like you’re going to die just because you have no health insurance if you’re a somewhat healthy person.

    $1,200 is crazy though and I would suggest shopping around for a higher deductible and lower coverage policy to save $ rather than pay that crazy high price.

    As far as being laid off, I hope things work out for you. My suggestion for everyone is to make sure you’re keeping your family in mind as top priority and not depending on anyone else whether it be an employer or the government as your only chance of filling needs. Keep a backup source of income/tradeskill and work hard to keep your job secure and company profitable. Too many people get in the groove of a 9-5 paycheck not planning for the “what if”.

  10. Lisa K said :

    Find a high-deductible policy. Mine is about $120 with a $5000 deductible, with Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield. It was much less than COBRA, though of course the COBRA policy would have had a much smaller deductible. Also though you will be responsible for the amount up to the deductible, the insurance company should be negotiating lower prices with the hospitals. It is important to continue some kind of coverage as you will at least limit your out-of-pocket expenses to your deductible amount and ensure that you have continuous coverage. If you have a break in coverage, you may not be able to buy insurance later if you develop a medical condition in the meantime. If you know your situation is temporary (i.e. need coverage between jobs) a temporary policy is often even cheaper, but not designed for long-term use. It is an good choice for recent grads between school and work too.

  11. Dave V said :

    COBRA is very expensive to have especially when your low on finances. I would look into getting some health insurance quotes from your local agent. There are many health plans out there that are much cheaper than COBRA.


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