Just what does COBRA cost for pre-existing UC?

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Probiotic
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 2832
   Posted 1/16/2009 10:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I am pretty secure in my job for now, and would likely get covered by my spouse if I ever lost my insurance... but given that it is still a wild card how long the world and US economies keep worsening, who really knows about job security anymore .... I don't want to count on my chickens, and never say never- so just what does COBRA insurance coverage cost per month for pre-existing UC?  My understanding is that it is so prohibitive as to only be of use to cover a few months gap to the next job- or spouse-covered insurer.
 


Pancolitis ~20 years, once had a full med-free 10 year remission,
but flaring/simmering on and off for years, allergic to all 5ASAs
15ish mg pred, 100 mg Imuran TCM
Probiotics (PD, Cust.Probiot., Culturelle, VSL3, etc), DMSO, TSO, hookworm
Turmeric/circumin, boswellia, fish oil, many vits/minerals
Lower-carb version of Specific Carb Diet (SCD), Remicade newbie
 
 
 


Lonie
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Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6448
   Posted 1/16/2009 10:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I can't answer this, but I too think about the problem of being uninsured because of a layoff. I'll ask our HR department at work.
Carol

Remicade - will have my 25th infusion on November 26 
Vitamin B-12/Biotin, Probiotics
 
Co-Moderator for the UC Forum
 
 


julee70
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 1/16/2009 11:51 PM (GMT -6)   
COBRA insurance is not actually a type of insurance. It's the law that allows people to stay on their employer's health insurance for 18 months when they leave work. So if you know the total cost per month of your health insurance now, that's what it would cost you. Most people only pay a part of it in their paychecks, but your employer can tell you what the total cost is. Not every employer has to offer the option to stay on their insurance through COBRA, so you can ask. By law, they have to tell you what your rights are and provide you with some written policy about it.

Depending on where you live and what kind of insurance you have at work, staying on their insurance through COBRA is probably your best bet. Not every state has pre-existing condition limitations for health insurance, but if you're in a state where pre-existing conditions can be used against you, then finding your own policy will be a big hassle, probably.
-------
UC for the last ten years
Current Meds: 6MP since 2006, Lialda, Cortifoam
Past Meds: You name it; I've tried it. (Asacol, Colazol, Pentasa, DiPentum, Rowasa, Canasa, Cortenema, sulfasalazine)
Alternative treatments I have had success with: Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy


subdued
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 1/17/2009 8:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Insurance companies usually don't cover pre-existing conditions. However, pre-existing conditions generally aren't a factor unless you have a break in insurance coverage.
Joy - 47 yrs and counting
Diagnosed w/ UC Dec 06
Currently in remission

Lexapro (for stress)
Probiotics
Vitamins (a whole bunch of them)
Anti-inflammatory foods: turmeric, seaweed, garlic...
Avoid: anything with high-fructose corn syrup, foods high in fructose, artificial sweeteners


Probiotic
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 2832
   Posted 1/17/2009 8:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Ok - thanks- so it sounds like whatever the premiums that ones' employer now pays are what one would keep paying, except you'd be forking it all over out of pocket as opposed to one's employer doing so. So not "that" onerous except in the long term, I guess, compared to the cost of things like Remicade or surgery which could each be tens of thousands of dollars or more, for example.
Pancolitis ~20 years, once had a full med-free 10 year remission,
but flaring/simmering on and off for years, allergic to all 5ASAs
15ish mg pred, 100 mg Imuran TCM
Probiotics (PD, Cust.Probiot., Culturelle, VSL3, etc), DMSO, TSO, hookworm
Turmeric/circumin, boswellia, fish oil, many vits/minerals
Lower-carb version of Specific Carb Diet (SCD), Remicade newbie
 
 
 


notsosicklygirl
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 16732
   Posted 1/17/2009 9:08 AM (GMT -6)   
When I lost my job years ago, I remember it was about 500 a month but I am sure it varies widely depending on the isurance. Preexisting condition is not an issue when you are insured through group coverage and employers are considered a group. When I looked for private insurance the salesperson basically told me that with my preexisting conditions I would have to get in with a group because no one would insure me privately.

Diagnosed with proctitis in March 2007 - Treated with Canasa 2x Daily
Diagnosed with UC December but had symptoms months ago - Treating with Asacol (feel hopeless)


Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4538
   Posted 1/17/2009 11:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Probiotic said...
Ok - thanks- so it sounds like whatever the premiums that ones' employer now pays are what one would keep paying, except you'd be forking it all over out of pocket as opposed to one's employer doing so. So not "that" onerous except in the long term, I guess, compared to the cost of things like Remicade or surgery which could each be tens of thousands of dollars or more, for example.
Right. I just got my COBRA papers and it's about $425/month, but it will vary based on what type of insurance you previously had.
Diagnosed with UC March 2007; Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day; Rowasa; Canasa; Viactiv; Metamucil wafers; multivitamin; sublingual allergy drops


julee70
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 1/17/2009 12:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Sgirl has it right. There are group policies (like through your employer) that don't ask about pre-existing conditions. Then there are individual policies that usually do. There are some states (I think NY is one, but I'm not sure) where the insurers aren't allowed to ask about pre-existing conditions for individual policies.

If you exhaust your 18 months of COBRA and then still need insurance, be careful about letting yourself go without insurance even for a month. That gap in insurance can make problems for you depending on what the rules are in your state. That could be the difference between the insurer allowing you coverage with your pre-existing condition and not. It seems insane to me, but a gap in coverage is a real problem sometimes.

Each state (I think) has "high risk" insurance available for those of us who get declined everyone when trying to get an individual policy. But I doubt they offer great coverage. COBRA is definitely your best bet for as long as you can keep it.
-------
UC for the last ten years
Current Meds: 6MP since 2006, Lialda, Asacol foam
Past Meds: You name it; I've tried it. (Asacol, Colazol, Pentasa, DiPentum, Rowasa, Canasa, Cortenema, sulfasalazine, Cortifoam)
Alternative treatments I have had success with: Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy


subdued
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 1/17/2009 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Sara14 said...
Right. I just got my COBRA papers and it's about $425/month, but it will vary based on what type of insurance you previously had.


Hi Sara,

I'm between jobs right now and am waiting for my COBRA papers. (Our whole department was laid off Dec. 12.) How long did you have to wait?
Joy - 47 yrs and counting
Diagnosed w/ UC Dec 06
Currently in remission

Lexapro (for stress)
Probiotics
Vitamins (a whole bunch of them)
Anti-inflammatory foods: turmeric, seaweed, garlic...
Avoid: anything with high-fructose corn syrup, foods high in fructose, artificial sweeteners


Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4538
   Posted 1/17/2009 1:00 PM (GMT -6)   
subdued - Sorry to hear about your job situation. It took 10 business days since our business was sold for me to receive my papers in the mail. My former employer said we should receive them in no longer than 10 business days. Good luck and hang in there.
Diagnosed with UC March 2007; Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day; Rowasa; Canasa; Viactiv; Metamucil wafers; multivitamin; sublingual allergy drops


jujub
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 1/17/2009 5:58 PM (GMT -6)   
You would pay the same amount your former employer pays for each member in their group, and would have the same insurance coverage. COBRA is the law that allows you to retain your coverage when you are out of a job for a set period of time.
Judy
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from Entocort.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
"My life is an ongoing medical adventure"
 
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.


Joma
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 222
   Posted 1/18/2009 11:09 AM (GMT -6)   
just to clarify - gap in coverage issues as they relate to pre-x conditions are regulated under HIPPA and therefore only apply to group plans. HIPPA does not regulate the individual insurance market. In turn, you maybe lucky enough to live in a state where insurance companies are not allowed to ask about pre-x condicitons in the individual market (these laws are state by state and not related to HIPPA - HIPPA is federal). However, the majority of states do not legislate these protections and as a result, it will not matter how small a gap in coverage you have between policies in the individual market - they can turn you down whenever and for whatever reason they choose. The options then becom COBRA or a High Risk Pool as others have mentioned.
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