COBRA Alternatives Cost

Find out how much COBRA insurance alternatives cost


Doctor using stethoscope


Before enrolling in COBRA insurance, it is incredibly important to think through both what COBRA insurance will provide as well as what other health insurance options you have. Many people do not realize that there are many options for health insurance in today’s market and many are much more affordable than typical COBRA insurance coverage.

When considering COBRA insurance and alternatives, it is important to think critically about your health insurance needs, the cost of the plan, as well as the coverage that each plan provides. Plans differ immensely in coverage and cost and depending on your age, gender, current health condition, lifestyle, and ongoing medical needs. Additionally, plans can differ greatly in terms of coverage area, co-payments, and deductibles. Always make sure to research plans in depth and get quotes for multiple plan so you can fully compare your options.

Comparing COBRA Insurance Costs with COBRA Alternatives

Cost Comparison Chart: Monthly COBRA Insurance and Alternatives †
Individual Family
COBRA $600 $1,084
Catastrophic Insurance $100 $180
Short Term Health Insurance $120 $216
Individual or Family Health Insurance $231 $420
High Deductible Health Insurance $51 $92
† Based on a healthy individual or family in 2010. Your plan will likely vary based on age, gender, current health condition, location, as well as the co-payments, deductibles, etc. you choose

COBRA Insurance Alternatives

Private Individual or Family Health Insurance Plans

If you are looking to keep a similar health insurance plan for you or your family, likely a private individual or family plan is the best option. These types of plans come in all shapes and sizes with many options for plan coverage, as well as co-payments, deductibles, and prescriptions. Based on your current health needs and lifestyle, you can choose a plan well suited to your needs and budget. This plan is the most like, and in fact many times almost identical, to an employer offered plan. It is the most expensive type of plan but many times can be cheaper than COBRA insurance. It is also worth it to get a free health insurance quote for this type of insurance if you are considering keeping COBRA insurance coverage.

Catastrophic Health Insurance Plans

As the name suggests, catastrophic health insurance plans, will only cover major and serious medical emergencies and the immediate care that the treatment required. The deductible on a catastrophic insurance plan is generally very high, over $1000, and must be paid before the coverage kicks in. On this type of insurance you will not be able to visit the doctor regularly and no non emergency or preventive treatment will be covered. Sometimes it is known as emergency insurance for this reason. This type of insurance can be very afforded but is generally only recommended for people looking for short term coverage or healthy individuals who likely will not need ongoing medical attention.

Short Term Health Insurance Plans

Short term health Insurance plans, are exactly what they sound like – short health insurance plans that commonly last for 6-12 months. Many short term plans only covered emergencies and bare minimum care but some plans offer a more comprehensive care package. They are made for folks who know they only need insurance in an interim period and normally can not be renewed at the end of the term. Sometimes these health insurance plans are also called temporary health insurance plans. If you are certain you will be employed soon or qualify for health insurance soon, this could be a good option for you.

High Deductible Health Insurance Plans

High deductible health insurance plans, as the name suggest, feature extremely high deductibles that must be paid before the insurer is going to pay any expenses. Normally this deductible is upwards of $1,000, which means under this type of plan you will be responsible for most smaller medical needs. It is similar to catastrophic insurance plans, but will cover more than just emergencies if you pay the deductible first. Like catastrophic plans, it is recommended for healthy individuals who are unlikely to need any ongoing medical attention.