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Health Insurance Question/Cobra

Posted: Thu May 26, 2016 12:58 pm
by gsy987
Hey guys,

Here's my situation: I'm 26 and I'm leaving my full-time job on June 2, and as a result, I'm losing my health insurance on June 30th. Michigan's health plan doesn't start until late-August, so I'd need healthcare for about a month and a half.

Now, it would seem that COBRA would be my best option..right? Is there anything else I'm not thinking about? (I'm also wondering if it might be cheaper for me to go on Obamacare or the exchanges, as the Michigan Law health plan is around 4k a year.)

Also, if I do need to sign up for COBRA, does anyone have any idea how that experience works?

Thanks!!

Re: Health Insurance Question/Cobra

Posted: Thu May 26, 2016 2:18 pm
by Hand
Getting insurance through the exchange is a bit of a production, and (depending on how good the plan is you get through your current employer) doing COBRA can be quite expensive. If you're just looking to bridge one or two months, and don't expect you'll need to see a doctor during that time, you're probably better off just getting a short term plan to guard against the small risk of e.g. getting in an accident. See, e.g., https://www.ehealthinsurance.com/short- ... -insurance

Anyhow, that's what I did last year.

ETA: getting on COBRA should be easy, just ask your employer

Re: Health Insurance Question/Cobra

Posted: Thu May 26, 2016 2:26 pm
by doublehoohopeful
I'm getting a short term catastrophic plan for the gap between employer coverage and school coverage. Going with COBRA would have been over $500/month, the short term plan is $40/month.

Re: Health Insurance Question/Cobra

Posted: Thu May 26, 2016 2:41 pm
by cavalier1138
doublehoohopeful wrote:I'm getting a short term catastrophic plan for the gap between employer coverage and school coverage. Going with COBRA would have been over $500/month, the short term plan is $40/month.


This.

COBRA is ridiculous.

Re: Health Insurance Question/Cobra

Posted: Thu May 26, 2016 3:52 pm
by herecomesthesun
Also going to Michigan, agreed that the school's plan is SUPER expensive. I found a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan plan that is cheaper. It has a higher deductible, but it's a PPO and has cheap prescriptions. Also free preventative care.

Re: Health Insurance Question/Cobra

Posted: Thu May 26, 2016 9:55 pm
by A. Nony Mouse
doublehoohopeful wrote:I'm getting a short term catastrophic plan for the gap between employer coverage and school coverage. Going with COBRA would have been over $500/month, the short term plan is $40/month.

This was my experience when I had a similar gap. Unless you have any reason to believe you'll need expensive surgery or lots of prescriptions during the gap, I would avoid COBRA.

Re: Health Insurance Question/Cobra

Posted: Thu May 26, 2016 10:12 pm
by kellyfrost
COBRA stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconcilliation Act.

Re: Health Insurance Question/Cobra

Posted: Thu May 26, 2016 10:40 pm
by BVest
I found Obamacare to be cheaper than COBRA for post-law-school / pre-job insurance. But yeah, getting insured on the exchanges can be a bit of a pain, with a little extra pain because it's for a "life event" rather than during a standard enrollment period.

As far as whether it's worth it to do the school insurance plan or the exchanges, I found the school plan to be an extremely good value. But then, I'm a child of the '70s with a spouse to insure and the premiums on school plans tend to anticipate children of the '90s. And we accrued health costs during my 2L that were multiples of my tuition, with minimal out of pocket cost to us. Depending on your available premiums, it may make sense for you just to Obamacare all through school, but it definitely would not have for me.

kellyfrost wrote:COBRA stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconcilliation Act.


Yes. But why the explanation?

Re: Health Insurance Question/Cobra

Posted: Thu May 26, 2016 10:52 pm
by doublehoohopeful
There's also a window shopping feature on Healthcare.gov, you can put in a bit of information about yourself and get plan details so you can compare to Michigan's plan.

Re: Health Insurance Question/Cobra

Posted: Fri May 27, 2016 1:02 am
by gsy987
Thanks guys, this was super helpful!

One more random thought.. Couldn't I just go on Medicaid since I won't have an income? Would that be a crazy idea?

Re: Health Insurance Question/Cobra

Posted: Fri May 27, 2016 1:20 am
by Late Game
As I read it, you can go to the exchange for you immediate coverage needs (July-Dec 2016) but you have to put down your YTD income / 12 mos, which likely pushes you out of Medicaid (138% poverty lines in blue states, 100 in red) and into Exchange plans (tho potentially with premium support). When you apply for CY 2017 during open enrollment, you estimate your monthly 2017 income, which probably puts you in Medicaid. That said, in some states you can apply for Medicaid on a "how much money will you make this month" basis, avoiding the exchange's meddlesome attentions altogether.

If you're a normal healthy person, I'd say you want that medicaid. It'll cover your broken arm and penicillin. Strategic ritalin, not sure. Love to hear more from this thread tho because this health cover information is, shall we say, diffusely arranged on the nets.

Re: Health Insurance Question/Cobra

Posted: Fri May 27, 2016 1:42 am
by doublehoohopeful
Late Game wrote:As I read it, you can go to the exchange for you immediate coverage needs (July-Dec 2016) but you have to put down your YTD income / 12 mos, which likely pushes you out of Medicaid (138% poverty lines in blue states, 100 in red) and into Exchange plans (tho potentially with premium support). When you apply for CY 2017 during open enrollment, you estimate your monthly 2017 income, which probably puts you in Medicaid. That said, in some states you can apply for Medicaid on a "how much money will you make this month" basis, avoiding the exchange's meddlesome attentions altogether.

If you're a normal healthy person, I'd say you want that medicaid. It'll cover your broken arm and penicillin. Strategic ritalin, not sure. Love to hear more from this thread tho because this health cover information is, shall we say, diffusely arranged on the nets.

This is largely correct, although the Medicaid expansion issue isn't strictly a blue state/red state issue (there is correlation, however). KFF has some good stuff that can be helpful in determining whether the state you're in has expanded Medicaid: http://kff.org/medicaid/fact-sheet/where-are-states-today-medicaid-and-chip/

You can also go to Healthcare.gov and get all of this stuff sorted out.

Re: Health Insurance Question/Cobra

Posted: Fri May 27, 2016 9:35 am
by slippin_jimmy
doublehoohopeful wrote:
I've been waiting for this moment, all my life - hold onnnnnn