Alternatives to COBRA Health Insurance

    ance, it is important to remember that you can face fines by not having insurance through the Affordable Care Act. When you feel like you cannot afford health insurance, it is important to realize there are other options available to you. 
  • 01
     Short-Term Health Insurance

    One option is to get short-term health insurance to cover the lapse between your current insurance and the insurance that you will get from
    your new employer. One of the advantages of this insurance is that the application process is quick. This insurance may have coverage limits, and is not meant to last longer than a year. Some policies are for a specific length of time. Other policies just have a limit as to how long you can qualify for the plan. Most short-term health insurance policies do not qualify as insurance under the Affordable Care Act, but may help fill gaps in your coverage.
    Short-term health insurance also has strict rules regarding coverage. If you are pregnant or if your partner or spouse is pregnant, you might have a difficult time qualifying for a short-term health insurance policies. Additionally the policy may have a low life-time and annual limit since this is not supposed to be a long-term solution. 
  • 02
     Health Insurance Through Your State's Health Exchange

    Under the Affordable Care Act, you may qualify for help paying for your health insurance through your state's health insurance exchange. Losing your job and health insurance coverage counts as a qualifying event and you may be able to qualify without waiting for open enrollment. This is a viable option, and all policies will meet the Affordable Care Act health insurance requirements. 
    These plans may be a good option if you meet the income requirements for them. However, if you do not then you will need to look at the independent health insurance policies that are also available. 
  • 03
     Independent Health Insurance

    Another alternative to COBRA insurance is an independent health insurance policy. There are policies that have good coverage at a lower cost than COBRA insurance. This is a good option if you do not have preexisting conditions or if you are single. This insurance policy can last for as long as you want it. The rates may increase each year. You can choose a deductible and copayment plan that best fits your needs. Your health insurance agent can help you make sure that the plan qualifies for the Affordable Care Act guidelines.
    You can look for these plans online or you can find an insurance agent that specializes in health insurance. Some companies may have agents just for its policies. You can also look for an independent agent that will show you a variety of policies from several different companies.
  • 04
     High Deductible Health Insurance

    A high deductible health insurance plan is an excellent alternative to COBRA insurance. These plans have a lower monthly premium, but you have a high deductible to meet before coverage kicks in. This is a great solution if you are looking for ways to save money during difficult times. You can set up a health savings account in conjunction with a high deductible account.
    This is a good option if you think you will not use the insurance, but want to have it just in case. This type of policy will protect you from the most expensive health costs, but you will need to pay completely for your doctor visits until you meet your deductible. 
  • 05
     Consider Using Your COBRA Option

    Additionally, you should consider the cost of COBRA and the coverage it provides when you make the choice. At times the coverage offered may be very good or you may need this type of plan because of your family or preexisting health conditions. Carefully consider the monthly premium costs as well as out-of-pocket costs for this plan when looking at your other options.
    COBRA gives you sixty days to determine if you need coverage. You may choose to wait with this option if you know you will have coverage in sixty days and then pay the premium if you end up needing the insurance. If you do this, you may face penalties under the Affordable Care Act though. 
  • 06
     Choose the Right Alternative

    In order to make the correct choice for your individual situation, you should look at all the options available to you. At times the cost of COBRA may be less expensive than the alternatives. You may also go with short-term health insurance while you are waiting for approval on a high deductible or independent health insurance plan. If you have a family, you may want to consider using different insurance for each family member depending on the history of the individual. You should avoid things like health shares, which sound like health insurance, but really are not.

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