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Health Insurance California Cobra Question & Answers

2013 June 6
by Sarah Fields

Helen asks…

What is an affordable health insurance that I can apply for in Southern California?

An affordable one. I can’t seem to find one. I was layed off my job but my cobra will be too expensive is there anything else out there. I tried kaiser but its like 220 a month for just me.

Sarah Fields answers:

~~It all goes by your age and health history. My son is 25 and he is signing up for a Blue Shield plan. It is more of a major medical. Still it allows a physical once a year, and his annual deductible is reasonable (I believe it is $2,700.00 a year). It also includes some prescription coverage. It is only going to cost him $53 a month. So a plan like this may work well for you.

Our agent is Lisa and her number is 1-800-611-9057 ext #2206. We’ve used her for years and had a group plan through our business. However it is too expensive for the insurance we have ,so we are switching over to this type to save on the monthly premiums, but still have very good coverage. She will explain all your options after you tell her what your needs are. All done by phone and email or fax, so it’s awesome!~~

Robert asks…

Did the COBRA health insurance subsidy get extended?

I know a year ago that there was a 65% federal subsidy of COBRA health insurance benefits for a period after a person is initially unemployed. This subsidy ended May 31st, but I heard Congress was considering getting it renewed. What is the status of this? Is there any further subsidy for citizens of California?

Sarah Fields answers:

No. It hasn’t been renewed yet. And the closer we get to election time, the less likely it will be renewed – it’s VERY expensive, and can’t be a “forever” thing.

Ruth asks…

To what extent is the health care industry regulated?

And would the health care industry be better with more or less regulation? (i.e. national health insurance)

I have asked a question along similar lines in the Politics section. I am interested to compare the answers of people responding here with the ones in Politics.

Sarah Fields answers:

Personally, I feel the system is quire regulated, but its very fragmentary. Medicare regulates almost all the pricing–most insurance companies use the medicare-instituted billing & coding system and set prices according to medicare’s price index. Next the federal government has COBRA, HIPPA and other regulatory laws and mandates that are enforceable with heavy penalties for transgressions. The joint commission on health care organization (JACHO) has great power as well and inspects hospitals & clinics continuously. To fail is to potentially lose your license to operate (see California’s woes on this). Other regulatory bodies also do the same but with more focused results such as CAP, AABB, etc in the labs & I am sure there are others as well.

The health care problem is extremely complex & certainly needs to be fixed, but it would take INTELLIGENT regulation–not just “more” regulation– and I am not sure if there is anyone out there currently who qualifies for that moniker.

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