Open Enrollment Is Here
Health Insurance Open Enrollment – November 1, 2021 – January 15, 2022
Alternatives to COBRA Insurance in North Carolina
Are you unhappy with the coverage or premiums paid with your Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) benefit package? Individual health insurance from Carolina Insurance Professionals can be a low cost and effective alternative to COBRA across the state of North Carolina.
If your health insurance coverage has been affected by a transition between jobs, job loss, death, reduction in the hours worked, divorce, or any other major life events, let Carolina Insurance Professionals provide a policy designed specifically for your individual needs.
Our team of experienced insurance agents specialize in finding the right health insurance coverage that fits your budget and your needs. We understand how challenging losing your health insurance during a major life-changing event can be, and how expensive COBRA insurance costs are. If you need health insurance that covers specific prescription drugs, like antibiotics, you may be even more stressed. Carolina Insurance Professionals researches alternatives for you, like the options below, at no additional cost.
Health Insurance Marketplace
Otherwise known as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or the Health Insurance Exchange, the insurance Marketplace is facilitated by the U.S. federal government. Individuals and families can use the Marketplace to find health insurance in each state, and may qualify for subsidies and tax credits to reduce out-of-pocket expenses and to help pay your health care costs. Marketplace coverage may be more affordable or more expensive than your COBRA premiums, and the cost largely depends on your income and size of household.
The health insurance Marketplace is certainly an alternative to COBRA insurance, and these plans typically offer more than short-term coverage. If you’ve lost your job, the size of your household has changed, or you’ve recently moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, you may be able to purchase a plan during a Special Enrollment Period. This means you may qualify for enrollment, even if Open Enrollment has ended.
Carolina Insurance Professionals researches Marketplace plans and quickly compares them to COBRA coverage in order to find the best deals that fit your budget and your health needs. We may be able to find comparable coverage for you that’s less expensive than your COBRA premiums.
Why Is COBRA Health Insurance So Expensive?
Depending on the company you work for, chances are they pay a certain percentage of your health insurance coverage. This is known as an employer-sponsored plan and companies should cover at least 50% of the monthly or annual cost.
If your employment is terminated, you have the option to keep the same plan in order to avoid coverage interruption. It’s the same plan, the same coverage, the same benefits. The reason laid off or otherwise terminated employees may keep their coverage is because of COBRA.
The amount of time a beneficiary is considered eligible for COBRA largely depends on the qualifying life event. For example, if you are laid off, you may typically keep your plan under COBRA for 18 months. If you are divorcing your spouse, who includes you on their employer-sponsored health insurance plan, you may keep your plan for 36 months.
Now, why is it so expensive? An employer-sponsored health insurance plan means that your employer is covering some of the cost. When you are terminated, the employer no longer pays any portion of your premium and you are now responsible for 100% of the plan.
Short-term coverage is a popular option for individuals who need an alternative to COBRA insurance costs. These plans typically range from one to twelve months in length and they aim to simply fill the unemployment gap with basic coverage or provide basic coverage for those who are self-employed.
However, short-term coverage plans will likely not cover pre-existing conditions, some crucial emergencies, or vital services that would otherwise be covered under Marketplace plans, independent health insurance, or COBRA.
Short-term providers are usually less expensive than COBRA premiums, which benefits the policyholder. Deductibles may be considerably higher for short-term plans and will cover little out-of-pocket costs. Short-term insurance coverage typically serves as a stop-gap until individuals are able to apply during the following Open Enrollment period.
Independent Health Insurance
If COBRA, the Marketplace, or short-term coverage alternatives do not meet your needs, or if you don’t meet certain income requirements, independent health insurance may be another option for you. Independent health insurance plans may also be referred to as private insurance. This type of long-term care insurance aims to cover you for years, similar to Marketplace plans.
Private insurance typically covers pre-existing conditions and offers similar benefits to what you may already have under COBRA. They may also be less expensive than Marketplace or COBRA premiums. However, the cost of independent coverage is determined by your specific needs and budget. We negotiate with the insurance companies to find exceptional coverage and rates that work for you.
Carolina Insurance Professionals helps you understand and evaluate available private health insurance options, COBRA, and other alternatives to ensure you’re making the smartest choice. Simply put, we make it easier for you to shop and compare plans.
Senior Citizen Coverage & Student Discounts
Depending on your age and income, you may qualify for other types of COBRA insurance alternatives in the state of North Carolina. If you are over 65, for example, you are likely automatically eligible for Medicare benefits. If you are attending college or a university, you may have the opportunity to take advantage of student health insurance discounts and alternative eligibility requirements. As well, children under the age of 26 may be eligible for coverage through a parent’s insurance plan.
We’ll take a look at your income, age, and special circumstances to find the best COBRA insurance alternatives for you, especially if you’re considering coverage before or after the Open Enrollment period. Carolina Insurance Professionals considers the federal poverty level, out-of-pocket maximums, discounts, and other factors to help you decide which option works. Consider the following when choosing COBRA insurance alternatives:
- Prescription drug coverage
- Monthly health insurance premiums
- Out-of-pocket expenses and maximums
- High deductibles
- Affordable copays
- Access to out-of-network doctors and specialists
- Maternity expenses and coverage
- Children who qualify as dependents
You may also need to take retroactive coverage into consideration. Typically, COBRA health insurance does apply retroactively so individuals and families do not have any gaps in coverage. However, you’ll need to speak with a health insurance agent to determine whether you need retroactive coverage, and which COBRA alternatives apply in North Carolina.
Carolina Insurance Professionals always compares quotes from countless providers fast in order to get you covered quickly – especially during a stressful life transition. We understand how difficult uncertainty about your future and wellbeing is. Our expert professionals know the ins and outs of COBRA insurance costs and how to get you the best rate possible to help you sleep better each night. Enrolling in COBRA or other types of health insurance doesn’t need to be difficult. Work with us to receive comprehensive healthcare coverage and easily find affordable alternatives.
Learn About New Health Insurance Coverage Options & COBRA Alternatives Today
Contact us today to speak with a licensed insurance broker who will help you weigh the benefits of COBRA health insurance, and find comparable options. Carolina Insurance Professionals will discuss deductibles, out-of-pocket-costs, and levels of coverage to ensure your COBRA insurance alternative works for you. We are conveniently located in Raleigh, North Carolina and we’re here to help.
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