Posts Tagged - ‘unemployed’

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Your Health Coverage Can Be Canceled for One Penny

Friday, July 9th, 2010


Image: stevendepolo under CC 3.0

In order for your coverage to remain secure, it is essential to pay every single penny of your health insurance premium–literally.

A woman with cancer lost her job, but got COBRA to continue her group health insurance benefits. Last year’s stimulus package gave her a 35% subsidy to help cover the cost. However, her insurance company never sent her the reduced bill.

Therefore, she calculated the smaller amount herself and sent in the premium. Unfortunately, the insurer’s calculations didn’t agree: they said her payment should be one cent higher. As a result, they canceled her plan entirely for nonpayment! She was unable to send a check for $0.01 because she was in the hospital undergoing chemotherapy at the time.

The good news is that they eventually overturned their decision and reinstated her coverage.

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COBRA Health Insurance Still Available

Monday, April 5th, 2010

(Image: RussBowling under CC 3.0)

Some individuals are worried that the sweeping healthcare reforms recently passed will negatively impact their COBRA insurance. COBRA allows unemployed individuals and their dependents to maintain health insurance coverage through their former employers. Since the business no longer subsidizes part of the premium, it is more expensive. However, it is better than nothing–and has often been the only option for those with pre-existing conditions.

As it turns out, affordable health insurance reform leaves COBRA pretty much unchanged. The initial bill in the House of Representatives’ would have extended it until 2014, as opposed to the current 18 months–the Senate bill that passed, though, does not do so. The COBRA subsidy enacted as part of the stimulus package is about to expire, but it may be passed again by Congress.

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