If Laid Off, Most Americans Could Not Afford Health Insurance
Los Angeles, CA May 14, 2009 -Almost a third (32 percent) of employed Americans could not afford to purchase health insurance if laid off from work, and almost two-thirds (65 percent) could only afford it for six months, according to a new consumer survey.
For employees age 65 and over on Medicare, the loss of that secondary employer insurance can be a major blow, leaving them without the complete medical coverage they need.
Surprisingly, about 64 percent of those who are covered by their employerâ¬"including seniorsâ¬"don't know how much their employers contribute toward their health insurance. Yet, if laid off, they would have to pay the entire monthly premium plus an administrative fee if opting for COBRA coverage. While the federal government is presently offering a 65 percent subsidy on COBRA premiums for up to nine months for eligible individuals, purchasing COBRA coverage can still be cost prohibitive for those collecting unemployment.
For seniors, an alternative to COBRA is an affordable Medicare supplement insurance plan. Yet finding the right plan that offers the best benefits for the lowest cost can seem overwhelming because of all the information seniors must wade through.
For Barbara Van Dellen of Woodlake, Calif., help was no further than a click away when she was referred to www.MedicareSupplementPlans.com for her Medicare supplement insurance needs. Of the site's brokers, she said, "You came to us highly recommended by four of our friends. When I called, you responded in a timely mannerâ¬Â¦your explanation of the Medicare supplement program was excellentâ¬Â¦"
The Web site, which specializes in Medicare supplement insurance, also known as Medigap insurance, gives those 65 and older the opportunity to compare rates, plans and benefits from several prominent insurance companies.
Despite the alternatives available, one in two Americans who currently have health insurance don't believe if they lost their current health plan they would be able to find equal coverage elsewhere. What many don't realize is that there are affordable alternatives out there, including Medicare supplement plans for seniors over age 65.