Government sponsored health insurance plans are expected to be made affordable and accessible for every citizen. The United States of America is not left out as it has also made such provisions with the likes of COBRA health insurance.

COBRA health insurance plan has become popular over time because most employers now use it. Well, people want to how much it cost before they go into it

What is COBRA?

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) was signed into law by the United States government about 2 decades ago. Since then, the program has catered to the health insurance needs of fired, retired, and laid off work individuals. Learn more about COBRA insurance alternatives.

The down side to using COBRA health insurance is that it does not last forever. It is not a permanent insurance plan. COBRA lasts for three years tops depending on the laws guiding the state from which you are from.Before your COBRA plans expires, you are advised to already have an alternative to fall back to. Not having an alternative might delay your registration during enrollment period, causing you to wait till its open. Like they say, a stitch in time, saves nine.


COBRA eligibility

Written below is a list of qualifying events that makes you eligible for COBRA.

  • Private business or companies with more than 20 employees are eligible for COBRA. Employers are advised to offer COBRA coverage to any of their employees that is qualified.
  • If you have been fired, laid off from work, or retired, then you are qualified for COBRA benefits.
  • If you are the wife, husband, child, or relative of a COBRA health insurance beneficiary, then you may be eligible. Click here to get more about COBRA benefits.
  • Divorcees may also enjoy COBRA benefits if their ex husband or wife was a COBRA beneficiary.

Note: In case this list is still not clear, you can talk to the human resources of the company you work in. They are in the best position to tell you if you are qualified or not.

How much does COBRA cost?

COBRA can be quite expensive. It KS expensive because it cover 100% of your health treatment. The amazing thing about COBRA is that your employer caters for 70% of your insurance premium and 30% of your family’s own. So, you might not be really aware of the cost if you are still working under your employer.

Another thing you need to note is that COBRA cost depends largely on the coverage duration. For example, if your plan will last for a year, it will cost 102% of the premium health insurance. Again, ask questions before agreeing to any terms and conditions. Be sure that you can afford it for you and your family. Checkout more about COBRA coat on

Cost of COBRA alternatives

Unfortunately, not all COBRA alternatives are cheap. Most have exorbitant prices especially the plans offered by private insurance companies. However, if you are looking for an affordable and accessible plan, you may want to check the insurance marketplace. You would be offered with a myriad of choices and all you have to do is pick the one you can afford.


With the inception of the pandemic came a whole lot of negative side effects. While few would say they benefitted from it, others beg to differ. The economy of the country experienced a sort of meltdown thereby affecting businesses. This has led to so many employees being laid off their jobs.

Job loss comes with loss of several benefits associated with the lost job. One of such benefits is a health care insurance plan. Now, COBRA health insurance is almost always the way to go. Although COBRA is efficient in itself, it comes at a high cost. What then happens when you cannot afford it?

Well, the answer is not far-fetched as there are several other affordable COBRA alternatives that will suit your needs. Some of these alternatives are given ample explanation below.

Short-term health insurance

This is the first alternative on our list because it can be easily gotten. This option is open to all citizens of the United States. It allows you to fill in the gap between your present insurance plan and that of your new employer.

Within 30 seconds,you can apply and get approved for any plan of your choice. The benefits attached to any plans you settle for begins 24hrs after it is approved. Thereis no time frame or enrollment period with short-term health insurance. Learn more about short-term insurance.

Short-term plans are more affordable than COBRA, but do not cover most of the robust cases it covers. This plan will also cater for your health nerds for only oneyear depending on your state.


ACA health insurance

ACA is an acronym for affordable care act. It was signed into law in 2010 by the Obama administration. That is why it is also called OBAMACARE.

This is the best alternative in case you are seeking a more comprehensible insurance coverage. With this plan, you become eligible by applying through the Marketplace of your state. In this Marketplace, you get to enroll and buy health plans that is established by your state or federal government.

All citizens of the United States are eligible for this plan. To qualify as s citizen, your income must be between 100-400% of the poverty line.  The prices are not cut-throat, as you get to pick the one that you can most likely afford.

Independent health insurance

If you want a better plan than the short-term plan, independent health insurance is the way to go. This alternative is the best incases where your income is not qualified for ACA premium plans.

Independent health insurance is usually purchased from private insurance establishment that are not affiliated with the ACA. These plans are not Marketplace Plans and does not qualify you for premium packages. What you stand to gain is that It is relatively inexpensive and keeps you from paying for COBRA premium. Click here for more about Independent private health insurance.

Professional group plan

There are healthcare plans with low premium rates and this is one of them. The plans are available throughnational organizations that provide benefits for private business owners.

These organizations includes Nationsl Association of the Self-Employed (NASE)and freelancers union.  While NASE has paid membership of $120, freelance union offers free membership.

In conclusion, you do not decide just yet. You can still decide to continue using COBRA.If not you can goahead and purchase one of the alternatives that best suits you and your family.


There are so many personal losses incurred from being laid off from work. Apart from the strains on your financial health, there are other benefits you lose. These benefits are benefits offered to you by your employers because you are their employee. Hence, losing your job strips you of such benefits.

One of such benefits is a group health plan or an employer-sponsored health plan. In a bid to assist individuals in this category, the government set up the COBRA health insurance. It was created in 1985 to cater for the health insurance of both the employed, retirees, and laid-off employees.

As good as it may sound, individuals must be aware of some things about COBRA before subscribing to it. Here, we ask and answer five of such questions to enlighten you on COBRA health insurance. Click here for COBRA alternative costs.

What is the cost of COBRA health insurance?

COBRA is quite expensive because it covers 100% of the costs of your health plan. Some employers cater for the health plan of their employees. They pay a large sum of their employee’s premium health plan and deduct the remainder from their salary.

Usually, employers are responsible for 90% of the premium individual coverage and 30% for family coverage. Well,  you can avoid all of these cost with COBRA. Because COBRA caters for 100% of your premium health plan, only that it costs 5 time higher than your salary deduction.


What is the deadline for COBRA enrollment?

The deadline depends on your position. Employers and employees have different enrollment period and duration.

  • Employer: After losing your job, your employer has 44 days to deliver COBRA information. Also, if your group plan insurance coverage expires, your employer has the same 44 days to send out COBRA information. To be on the safe side, employees should keep checking in with their benefits manager after theyleave.
  • Employee: All employeesthat are eligible for COBRA have 60 days to register for it or any other planafter their benefits is over. Late enrollment does not help you save cost. COBRA policy insists that you still pay your premiums for the period inwhich you were not registered.

Note: COBRA in no waychangesthe benefits you had with your group plan. Rather itkeeps the exact benefits intact. Even if you might want to make changes, you would have to wait till the next enrollment period.

What is the coverage period for COBRA?

One thing youneed to know is that, COBRA is not permanent. It covers you for 2-3 years or even more depending on the state youare in. 

However, within this period of enjoying COBRA benefits, you are advised to find another plan. Learn more about COBRA continuation coverage.

Are there other alternatives asides COBRA after leaving my job?

Fortunately, there are several other alternatives to COBRA after leaving your job. Some of these alternatives includes partners employer-sponsored plan, health insurance market place at, professional group plan, and so on.

What makes me eligible for COBRA health insurance? If the company you work for has more than 20 employees, then you might be eligible for COBRA health insurance. Also, as an employee you must be under your employer’s group health plan.