How much does COBRA and alternative health insurance cost?

COBRA premium rates for individuals are slightly more than the amount paid by the employer. Although the actual rate will come directly from the plan administrator and rates will vary sharply for different health plans, these are approximate national estimates according to Kaiser Foundation and other sources:

  • single coverage - $550 per month
  • family coverage - $1350 per month

The premium reduction previously available offered the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is no longer available.

COBRA alternatives also range in price but premiums are available online through the quote engines on the  Freedom Benefits insurance exchange. The average cost of an issued policy is about half of the price of COBRA listed above.

Although some health insurance policies are priced lower than these figures - perhaps less than $100 per month - it is important to realize that the premium reduction is achieved by reducing the benefits available. Although these "mini-med" policies are increasingly popular, they do not provide the same level of protection as COBRA and COBRA alternative short term major medical plans.

revised 12/7/2011

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COBRA coverage may provide  temporary coverage when changing jobs, going through a divorce or negotiating other life transitions. Choosing the right health insurance is crucial to guarantee health and financial security.