Millions of Americans have recently been faced with the task of finding their own affordable healthcare plans for themselves and their families after they have lost their jobs. Already in 2009 cbdinflation.com, an estimated that 7 million Americans who lost their jobs as a result of the recession will have to pay COBRA health insurance premiums in order to maintain their health insurance plans.
The good news for these millions of recently unemployed workers is that a new government Act – the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) – has been put into place in many states to help these individuals and their families afford to pay for their COBRA healthcare. However, the ARRA and COBRA only provide temporary financial relief and, for many, the programs are about to end. Health Savings Accounts may be viable healthcare solutions for these employees.
Working with COBRA
COBRA is a program that allows employees who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own to continue with the same healthcare plans that they had been receiving through their employers. The COBRA program is temporary and, while employees are able to maintain their same health insurance plans, employees do have to pay more for the health insurance premiums on their COBRA plans than they paid while they were employed.
Historically, COBRA premiums have been difficult for laid-off workers to afford on their own. Yet, because many workers were able to quickly find reemployment after being laid off, many workers chose to use the COBRA option as a temporary health insurance solution while they were between jobs.
However, with current challenging economic conditions, it has not been possible for many workers to find reemployment, which means that they have had to pay high COBRA premiums for longer periods of time – or opt to forgo health insurance altogether. Therefore, while COBRA programs have been an affective short-term solution to help workers get through a temporary job loss, they are not able to provide affordable or long-term health insurance.