Question

Health Insurance

Why is COBRA so expensive?

A Answers (2)

  • AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered

    One of the many benefits (pun intended!) of getting health insurance through your employer is cost-sharing. All of your co-workers, your bosses, and the company share the cost of monthly premiums so that each of you doesn’t completely break the bank. However, once you’re off on your own and start receiving healthcare coverage from COBRA, there’s no one to share the cost with, so YOU have to start covering the whole bill. It may seem like a lot, but it is definitely worth the investment if it means you have health insurance.

  • AUnitedHealthcare answered
    COBRA is expensive because you have to pay  the employer's amount for health coverage, along with what you normally paid when you were employed. In addition to this payment, there is an administration fee tacked on, which means you end up paying around 102 percent of the cost. Perhaps you were not aware that your employer had been paying thousands each year to provide you and your former co-workers with health coverage. Most people who opt to use COBRA are not aware of the steep prices. Still, when you consider the alternative - no health coverage and a tragic illness that could result in bankruptcy, paying this monthly fee for yourself and your dependents makes COBRA a bargain until you can find employment and health insurance once again.
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What is COBRA?