7 Tips for Holding Onto Your Health Care


With pink slips accelerating nationwide, health care experts say it's a good idea for everyone - even those who feel their job isn't at risk - to know about their health care rights and options.

"Being proactive about your [health care] coverage is vitally important, especially if you want to protect your family in these times," said Ankeny Minoux, president of the Foundation for Health Coverage Education.

Here are some tips to get you started:

Sign up for COBRA. If you are laid off, immediately ask the company exactly when your employer-paid coverage expires, according to Devon Herrick, health economist with the National Center for Policy Analysis.

By law, employers have to provide laid-off workers information about COBRA, a government mandate that gives workers who lose their health benefits the right to choose to continue coverage under their group plan for a limited period.

The typical monthly premium for COBRA is $300 for an individual and $1,000 for family coverage. You have to sign up for COBRA within 60 days of being laid off or you lose that option.

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