My husband accepted a new job in another area of the country, allowing us to relocate to a place that we prefer from one we didn’t care for as much. His salary has increased significantly, and he feels the job will be better for his mental health and his career. The only difficulty is that he will not qualify for health insurance during the first two months he’s employed. We’ve searched for temporary health insurance options, but there aren’t many good options.
Why Not Go Without Health Insurance?
We could always take a chance and go without health insurance, but we’re not young; we’re firmly in middle age, so we visit the doctor more than we used to. Plus, young, middle-aged, or old, on any given day, we could be involved in a catastrophic health event such as having a car accident or being diagnosed with cancer.
My husband and I aren’t gamblers, so we don’t feel comfortable foregoing all health insurance options.
Utilize the Spouse’s Insurance
Another option for many couples is to utilize their spouse’s insurance during this time. However, I am a freelance writer, so my only insurance coverage is through my husband’s employer. This option is not available to us.
COBRA Is an Expensive Option
When my husband leaves his current employer, he can opt for COBRA insurance. COBRA allows us to retain our current insurance for the two months we’re without health insurance with the new employer. However, rather than paying our portion of the health insurance premium, we also pay the employer’s portion. Therefore, we would need to pay $1,659 a month for COBRA insurance or $3,318 for the two months we’re without insurance. Ouch!
Insurance Through the Affordable Care Act?
I looked into the Affordable Care Act, but getting insurance here is not much more affordable for us than COBRA. Insurance here is based on your income, and my husband’s income is good, so theoretically, we can afford to pay more.
We would need to pay nearly $800 a month for health insurance, and we would also have a high deductible. The insurance would only cover us for catastrophic events until after we meet the high deductible.
Insurance Through Our Car and Home Insurer?
We also looked to see if our car and home insurer offers medical insurance. The company does, but not in the state in which we’re moving.
What We Decided
Ultimately, we looked at our temporary health insurance options and decided to take advantage of a stipulation in COBRA. You have up to 60 days after leaving your employer to apply for COBRA. When you do, you pay for the time since you left your employer and are retroactively covered.
So, if the next two months don’t involve any health issues, we can save ourselves $3,300 in COBRA premiums. If we do need insurance coverage, we will pay for COBRA. This is a bit like gambling, but a safer way to help us stay protected while potentially not costing us thousands of dollars.