I could use a myriad facts and figures, but these days seem to be all about emotions…one negative emotion after another. Not least of which is the fear and anxiety caused by losing one’s insurance.
Whether it’s unplanned early retirement, being squeezed out of your job, or your company folding, you need insurance.
Here are your most likely choices:
COBRA is a vehicle the federal government enacted in 1985 to continue group health insurance coverage for employees and their families after a job loss. If you didn’t have group coverage before a job loss, COBRA isn’t an option.
Your employer isn’t obligated to pay any of the premium, so you may be responsible for 100%. You have (60) days to elect COBRA. You have a max of (18) months to be on it, and it could increase or change before it expires.
ACA Exchanges (Includes Medicaid)
Medal Plans, Obamacare, ACA, or a Marketplace Plan, it’s all the same. It’s a good option if: You are chronically ill; can readily afford it; or qualify for a subsidy due to low income. With no—or small subsidy—expect high deductibles, high premiums, restricted networks, copays, and coinsurances. Also expect to shop for a new plan every year.
Short Term Medical
STM is a good option if you are less than a year from Medicare or in-between jobs with group insurance. These are inexpensive, but you carry much of the risk. If you do file a major claim, the carrier can drop you at the end of the term (1 to 12 mos.) and deny coverage when you re-apply.
Christian Health Share Ministries
CHSMs aren’t insurance, aren’t regulated by the Dept. of Insurance, have no guaranteed state fund from which to draw should they to under, and aren’t tax deductible—even for your business.
These were gaining a strong following when the tax mandate was in place. However, their “contributions” and “member’s share” amounts have been increasing by 10%-15% since the that mandate ended.
Defined Benefit Insurance
Growing exponentially. This may well be the best health insurance value in America today. 30% – 50% less than ACA plans, with numerous other advantages. Plans are constantly improving, but premiums remain level.
DON’T RISK IT!
More Bankruptcies are attributed in medical bills than any other debt. It isn’t worth the risk to not have good insurance. Even if you can only afford or want catastrophic coverage, at least get that. You may be surprised at how inexpensive these can be outside of the ACA exchanges.
COVID-19 isn’t the only risk. Health care needs go well beyond the coronavirus. If you end up with cancer or a ruptured appendix and you’re uninsured, that could be financially disastrous. That’s why health policy experts recommend getting coverage if you can.