COBRA Participant Toolkit

Researching Individual Policies

Whether your COBRA coverage is ending or you want to look at other alternatives, take time to research individual policies. This page contains cosiderations for you as you do that research, as well as a list of resources that can help you find policies.

Some Research Options
The list below contains some of the websites available for researching individual insurance policies. The information below is provided as a convenience for plan participants and does not constitute endorsement of any insurer or policy.

Use GetInsured to find an individual policy through the major insurers or through the Marketplace (healthcare.gov exchanges). TRI-AD has partnered with GetInsured to offer affordable alternatives to COBRA. GetInsured provides access and decision-support tools for purchasing individual health and dental coverage available under both the public health exchanges (Marketplace) and directly with the major insurance carriers when the tax credit is not applicable. A premium subsidy calculation tool is available on GetInsured's website to assist with determining subsidy eligibility and, if eligible, will include insurance options available in the public exchanges. Note: The information and services available through GetInsured are provided by GetInsured, a wholly separate business entity from both TRI-AD and your employer or former employer. Neither TRI-AD nor your employer/former employer endorses the service offerings from GetInsured. GetInsured is provided as one alternative to COBRA coverage available to a Qualified Beneficiary. GetInsured is solely responsible for the relationships, technology,security and privacy of the products and services offered.

Other Insurance Resources query "Temporary Health Insurance" or "Short-Term Health Insurance." You might also query the same but with your state's name in the query. Some sites are:

www.healthcare.gov
www.temporaryinsurance.com
www.healthplans.com
www.medhealthinsurance.com/temporary.htm
www.ehealthinsurance.com

Important Points to Consider
How long will you need the coverage? If your coverage is a stop-gap measure to tide you over until your insurance begins at a new employer, your purchase decision might be quite different. For example, there are temporary insurance plans available that cover you for just a few months that are much cheaper than plans with an indefinite time period.

How old are you? The individual insurance market is driven by individual risk and the older you are the greater your health risk factors are. Thus, the older you are the more expensive you generally are to insure. Family coverage is generally rated off the age of the oldest participant on the policy. If there is a big age difference between you and your spouse, it may be more cost-effective for you to insure yourself alone and your spouse and children separately. Consider any conversion option (or if you are in California, Cal-COBRA extension) available through your group insurance provider (e.g., your COBRA coverage) as you look at individual options.

What are your risk factors? Again, on the individual market the better a risk you are, the less expensive the insurance is. Consider any conversion option (or if you are in California, Cal-COBRA extension) available through your group insurance provider (i.e., your COBRA coverage). Because risk factors play into insurance so highly at the individual level, it may be more cost-effective to split your family up. Model policies various ways and see how the numbers stack up.
COBRA Coverage Periods
What Are the Coverage Periods?