17 September 2009

Howling Before I Was Hurt

Honesty compels me to confess that my earlier rant about the cost of COBRA coverage was based on inaccurate information. The HR lady at work initially told me that the cost of continuing my health insurance coverage under COBRA would be $1200 per month. This was wrong for two reasons
  • I thought it was an all-or-nothing thing -- you could either continue your current coverage, or opt out.
Not so. Leaving my day job of 14 years constitutes a 'qualifying event', so I can choose from any of the options available at the beginning of the plan year. I don't, for example, have to cover Tuffy, who can get better coverage for less money through UW, where she is a student. Too bad I didn't know that last year.
  • The $1200 estimate assumed I would be covering the whole family for medical/dental/vision, which I wasn't doing anyway.
Scarecrow gets pretty decent medical coverage through his employer. He can't cover Tuffy or me, but most companies that size don't offer benefits at all. You take what you can get, and be glad you've got it.

If the HR lady had initially told me that COBRA coverage would be, say, $600/month, I would have gasped and complained and wondered how the heck I was supposed to pay for it on my newly-reduced income. But having softened me up with an estimate of $1200, something on the order of half that almost sounds like a pretty good deal.

It's all relative.

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