SOURCE: InsWeb Corporation

InsWeb Corporation

April 26, 2011 10:37 ET

InsWeb: 3 Reasons COBRA Subscribers Should Consider Health Insurance Alternatives

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire - Apr 26, 2011) - InsWeb Corporation (NASDAQ: INSW), a leading online insurance comparison provider, today released a list of three reasons why current COBRA subscribers should consider alternative forms of coverage, particularly if they're healthy.

If you're currently maintaining your health insurance via COBRA, consider these points:

1. COBRA Can Be Very Expensive
Employers typically contribute toward their employees' health premiums, so opting for COBRA coverage after your employment ends means that you'll be responsible for your entire premium out of pocket. The average cost for family coverage is over $1,000 per month according to Families USA. And that's not including co-pays for office visits, prescription drugs and emergency room visits.

If you and your family are relatively healthy, seeking out individual health insurance may save you hundreds of dollars per month while still providing the protection you need if faced with a life-threatening illness or injury.

2. COBRA Lasts Just 18 Months
COBRA benefits are only available for 18 months for most individuals and families. If you're going back to school or starting your own business, COBRA coverage simply may not last long enough to make sense.

Individual health insurance is purchased under your own name and is completely independent of any employer or organization. While rates and plans may change over time, federal law provides "guaranteed renewability." This means that your health insurer cannot cancel your policy except under specific circumstances, such as if you provide false information on your application or fail to pay your premiums.

3. COBRA Does Not Offer Choice
The health insurance plan you have through your employer at the time your employment ends is the plan you must maintain via COBRA. If your employer offers a less expensive plan or one that better suits your current needs, you cannot switch.

Individual health insurance plans come with a wide variety of options. You can choose from high-deductible plans, HSA-compatible plans, student plans, short-term plans for those transitioning between employers and more. This provides greater flexibility for you to find the plan that best fits your needs and budget.

"Many individuals believe maintaining health insurance via COBRA is their only choice if they lose their employer-sponsored coverage," said Brad Cooper, Senior Vice President of Operations at InsWeb. "In fact, individuals who are willing to do a little research will find that there are a lot of options out there."

"The simplest and most common alternatives to COBRA are individual health insurance plans, which are completely independent of employers and are offered by most major health insurance companies. And for healthy individuals, these plans can be very affordable," he added.

If you are in poor health, require regular medical care or prescription drugs, or plan on starting a family in the near future, COBRA is likely your best option. But if you are in good health and don't require regular care, an individual policy might make a lot of sense. Just keep in mind that you should not give up your COBRA health coverage until you are officially covered by your new plan. A gap in your health coverage can make it more difficult to find an affordable policy.

To learn more about the different types of individual health insurance options available, visit CobraHealthAlternatives.com, an InsWeb property.

About InsWeb
InsWeb Corporation (NASDAQ: INSW) owns and operates a network of leading insurance marketplace and education websites. Founded in 1995 and headquartered in Sacramento, California, InsWeb's primary properties include InsWeb.com, MedHealthInsurance.com, LocalInsuranceAgents.com, and AgentInsider.com. InsWeb has invented multiple e-commerce and online insurance distribution technologies and owns the following patents: 6,898,597; 7,107,325; 7,389,246; 7,640,176 and 7,707,505.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Jonathon Tudor
    InsWeb Corporation
    (916) 853-3386
    Email Contact