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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:01 PM
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Lose Your Job, Lose Your Health Insurance
from OurFuture.org:



Lose Your Job, Lose Your Health Insurance
By Monica Sanchez

January 23rd, 2009 - 8:59am ET



As more people lose their jobs, they may have to rely on COBRA or the individual insurance market to get health insurance for themselves and their family. But with insurance companies raising premiums by double digits, most will not be able to afford it.

COBRA is the federal law that allows people who were working for employers that have 20 or more employees to keep their employer-sponsored group coverage after they leave their job by paying the full premium themselves (plus an administrative charge). Ironically, COBRA is unaffordable to many people who lose their jobs and thus have no income.

The individual health insurance market offers little protection as well. Washington state, for example, has seen such huge increases in individual health insurance market premiums that it passed a law allowing the state insurance commissioner to oversee premium increases. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that:

After eight years of unregulated insurance company control over health insurance cost increases, the Legislature -- concerned over double-digit annual rate rises--has returned control of health care premium increases to the state insurance commissioner...

A similar bill was proposed last year, but leading Democrats, with assurance from health care providers that rates wouldn't increase, killed it. But rates did increase--in some cases by as much as 40 percent. And the increases were set to a backdrop of record profits by insurance companies. (Emphasis added)


Nationwide, state oversight of the individual insurance market varies widely, and few have the power or ability to oversee that premium increases are reasonable and appropriate. A Families USA report found that:

Not every state ensures that premiums are reasonable by reviewing premium rate increases before insurers impose them. And few states require that at least 75 cents of every dollar collected in premiums be spent on medical services rather than administration and profit.


* In 20 states and the District of Columbia, insurers can set and raise premiums without adequate oversight.

* In 45 states and the District of Columbia, insurers can spend less than 75 cents of every premium dollar on medical services. .......(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2009010423/lose-you...



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roamer65 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:55 PM
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1. COBRA is a fucking joke.
It's too expensive for a single person, let alone a family.

Single-payor socialized medicine NOW!!!
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Rob H. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:38 PM
Response to Original message
2. I had COBRA insurance for a few months in 2007
From what I can remember I was paying roughly $330 a month, and that was just for me. I shudder to think what it would've cost if I were married with kids or a single parent.
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