What are your health options after a job loss? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
CH4S Artist
Teutone's Avatar
Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
Location: Los Angeles / Hannover Germany
Posts: 34,515
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Quoted: 1099 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
(Thread Starter)
What are your health options after a job loss?

What are your health options after a job loss?
The unemployed can go without health insurance or pay for it alone; others can join a government plan.
By Sabine Vollmer and Kirsten Valle
CharlotteObserver.com - ‎2 hours ago‎

With more layoffs looming as the economy continues to struggle, what are the rising number of unemployed without health insurance to do? Here are some options:

Ride it out and hope for the best. Community health centers provide medical care for the uninsured and charge based on income. Drugmakers provide free medications through the Partnership for Prescription Drug Assistance for eligible applicants. Details: www.pparx.org.

Get coverage through a spouse's or domestic partner's employer. Under the law, unemployed workers who lose their employer-sponsored health insurance have 30 days to enroll in a plan offered by their spouse's or domestic partner's employer.

Continue coverage through COBRA. COBRA allows eligible workers to stay in the health plan they had at their former job. COBRA coverage is usually good for 18 months but can be expensive. Some people who became unemployed because their jobs went overseas can get help with their COBRA premiums through the health coverage tax credit.

Buy an individual health insurance policy. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is the largest provider, but a number of insurers market individual policies in North Carolina. For a list go to Services for Consumers: Health Insurance Information. Annual premiums in North Carolina average $3,080.

Insurer of last resort. The N.C. Health Insurance Risk Pool is available to those who lack insurance because they have health problems, have exhausted their COBRA benefits or lost their jobs to overseas competition. Details: Home or 1-866-665-2117.

Nettie Shafer has a house, a car and about $1,000 left in savings. But the 59-year-old divorced bank teller risks losing it all if she doesn't find a job with health insurance benefits soon.

Shafer, who lives in Raleigh, is on about a dozen medicines, seven of them to prevent a third heart attack.

Now, the insurance coverage she retained from her former job at Wachovia has run out – and the backup she has available covers only a fraction of her medical costs.

“I'm still looking for a job, every day,” Shafer said. “… A survival job is all I need.”

The recession has not only cost thousands of people their jobs, it has also cost them affordable health insurance.

People who had employer-sponsored health insurance are, when laid off, usually eligible for up to 18 months of continued coverage under COBRA, the federal law more formally known as the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act.

But COBRA can be expensive.

Unemployed workers must pay the total premium. The monthly average is more than three times as expensive as what workers with employer-sponsored health insurance pay, according to data by the Kaiser Family Foundation and FamiliesUSA.

That can take a hefty chunk out of unemployment benefits. In North Carolina, the average COBRA premium for a family eats 82 percent of an unemployment check, according to data from FamiliesUSA, a consumer advocacy group. Many decide to take their chances and don't sign up for COBRA.

At the end of 2008, an estimated 175,000 North Carolinians were out of work and uninsured, according to the N.C. Institute of Medicine. Even though this includes people who lacked insurance before they became unemployed, the estimate represents a 75 percent increase since the end of 2007.

The fourth quarter was particularly brutal in boosting the state's growing number of unemployed who are at risk of becoming uninsured, said John Quinterno of the N.C. Budget and Tax Center.

“We're starting to see significant losses in industries that are more likely to provide health insurance,” he said.

Hard choices

Karen Haines, 53, of Charlotte lost her job in the transportation industry nine months ago and struggled with finding affordable health insurance. COBRA coverage was going to cost her $750 a month, so she checked around with other insurance providers, from AARP to AAA. Finally, she settled on a basic plan with Blue Cross Blue Shield that costs $180 a month.

It doesn't offer dental or vision coverage, which she had while employed, and the coverage is less comprehensive than the plan at her old job.

“It's pretty scary,” Haines said. “I always considered myself to be healthy, but I'm scared to death that something's going to happen that's going to cost me $5,000.”

Besides private insurance and joining a spouse's plan, another option for unemployed workers or their family members is Medicaid. Enrollment in the health insurance program for the poor has begun to rise after years of declines. The $787 billion stimulus package that President Obama signed into law last month provides states with about $87 billion in additional funds for Medicaid.

The package also includes $24.7 billion in federal COBRA subsidies to help those who can afford to temporarily stay on their former employer's health insurance plan while they are looking for another job. The subsidies will pay 65 percent of the monthly payments for laid-off workers who are eligible.
Teutone is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 05:03 AM
Forum Administrator
RC Colas & Moon Pies
Digmenow's Avatar
Date registered: Oct 2006
Vehicle: 1981 380SL 151K: 2001 E320 4Matic Estate 147K: 2008 E350 Sport 4Matic 120K: 2005 S500 116K
Location: The Land of Pleasant Living
Posts: 37,679
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Quoted: 1637 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
My understanding of COBRA is that if you have a pre-existing condition that was covered under your old insurance, having the COBRA coverage means your new insurance (if you find a new job) can't exclude that condition.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Digmenow is offline  
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 05:35 AM
Brentwood MB
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Quoted: Post(s)

Place each hand on either side of your Buttochs and bend over. Try not to scream to loudly and imagine your enjoying it.
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 05:55 AM
BenzWorld Elite
Date registered: Feb 2007
Vehicle: 300SD
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 11,191
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Brentwood MB View Post
Place each hand on either side of your Buttochs and bend over. Try not to scream to loudly and imagine your enjoying it.
+1. The Republican idea of national health care for an ordinary citizen is "Don't get sick". This of course does not apply to the elite, such as Cheney, who had a doctor following him everywhere he went all the time while he was in office. And no expense spared on the latest most advance diagnostic techniques and treatment. Not applicable to an ordinary citizen. Their lives are not that important.

Last edited by p100; 03-01-2009 at 05:58 AM.
p100 is offline  
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 03:10 PM
BenzWorld Elite
elau's Avatar
Date registered: Oct 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 5,392
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Burn your passport and SSN card when you are sick. Go to any major hospital emergency room and claim you are an illegal. Problem solved.

'95 R129
'04 G35.5 BS
'10 X204
elau is offline  
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 04:07 PM
BenzWorld Veteran
ShaggyDiesel's Avatar
Date registered: Feb 2009
Vehicle: '83 300CD, '11 Ford Flex Limited, '96 Ford F-350 PSD
Location: Litchfield County, CT
Posts: 638
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by elau View Post
Burn your passport and SSN card when you are sick. Go to any major hospital emergency room and claim you are an illegal. Problem solved.
sad, but very true...


All gave some, Some gave it all ~ 9/11 Never Forget

People shouldn't fear their Government, The Government should fear its people.
ShaggyDiesel is offline  
Sponsored Links

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > Off-Topic

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Topic Author Forum Replies Last Post
Poo and your health Teutone Off-Topic 88 01-28-2015 11:01 PM
am at a loss, no blinkers, windows, electronic gauge loss, and brake lights 83300cdtCal W123 E,CE,D,CD,TD,TE Class 4 07-14-2008 05:17 AM
Health Insurance Jakarta Expat Off-Topic 14 10-14-2007 05:36 PM
To Tim, Norb, Brian and Calvin (Options Options Options) Matthew R170 SLK-Class 9 12-19-2000 07:13 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Title goes here

video goes here
description goes here. Read Full Story
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome