If you have utilized the COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) subsidy signed into the stimulus package by President Barack Obama, you've been saving hundreds of dollars on your monthly health insurance premiums. This program was put in place for 9 months. If you signed up for COBRA in the beginning of March 2009, you will see an uptick in your premium costs starting this week. The program was established to help you pay 65% of your COBRA premiums, you paid the remaining 35%. For a family of four, this could be a lot of money.
Starting this week, the program will start to phase out. Those of you who have found jobs, congratulations, you don't have to worry about COBRA anymore. For everyone else, what can you do to keep your costs down? There have been bills introduced to extend the program, but none of them will be acted on anytime soon. You may want to think about alternatives, such as public health insurance programs for low-income families. If you are still unemployed and qualify, programs such as Health First in NYC come to mind.
Whether you decide to keep paying the premiums or look for alternatives, you should think things through before pulling the trigger.
What options are you looking at? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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