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  • Cobra

    COBRA is basically a U.S. program that allows individuals and families to continue medical coverage after losing it due to loss of employment, loss of eligibility under family plans that don't cover non-students older than 19, etc. I think it costs about $400/month, and you must sign up within a few months of losing coverage. Anyway, part of the economic stimulus package working through Congress includes a sudsidy of up to 65% of the cost in most cases. Let's hope this passes since there are many here and elsewhere that need this.

    http://www.businessinsurance.com/cgi...02-13&id=15408
    "Statistics are human beings with the tears wiped off" - Paul Brodeur
    Diagnosis: 05Sept07 Right I/O: 13Sept07; Pure Seminoma; Surveillance only per NCCN: All Clear August2013 (CT scan, Markers)

  • #2
    It makes me mad to see what you guys pay for medical care in the states. I believe that there is no way anybody should have to pay premium money for care in your country. I do understand that the care you get is most often very good but why should someones life be decided on profit for the rich. I do believe that private health care has its place but should every one not have the choice, not the choice made for them. I hope i did not offend anyone, just my personal point of view.
    Seminoma stage 1b
    Surveillance
    8month scan shows 15mm by 16mm deciding on treatment
    Radiation 10 treatments 34gy begin Aug 21
    all clear december 2009

    Comment


    • #3
      Paul54,

      I don't post very much here no more. Because of a statement like yours:..."I think it costs about $400/month....".

      You don't have a clue (let me put that in caps, CLUE), do you? To insure a family of four will run you about $1,200/mo. Once you run out of COBRA, you will not be able to buy private coverage at any price in the individual marketplace w/ a history of TC.

      If I were a citizen of the US only, I would not be ****ed, but dead!



      Originally posted by Paul54 View Post
      COBRA is basically a U.S. program that allows individuals and families to continue medical coverage after losing it due to loss of employment, loss of eligibility under family plans that don't cover non-students older than 19, etc. I think it costs about $400/month, and you must sign up within a few months of losing coverage. Anyway, part of the economic stimulus package working through Congress includes a sudsidy of up to 65% of the cost in most cases. Let's hope this passes since there are many here and elsewhere that need this.

      http://www.businessinsurance.com/cgi...02-13&id=15408

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by matthias View Post
        You don't have a clue (let me put that in caps, CLUE), do you?
        Matthias, if you are going to post here, you'll need to be civil.
        Scott, scott@tc-cancer.com
        right inguinal orchiectomy 6/5/2003 > nonseminoma, stage I > surveillance > L-RPLND 6/24/2005 for recurrence, suspected teratoma but found seminoma, stage II > chylous ascites until 9/2005 > surveillance and "all clear" since


        Your donation funds LIVESTRONG Foundation services for people facing cancer now. Please join me!

        Comment


        • #5
          Agreed, Scott.

          Fact is that no US Insurer will cover me on an individual policy post TC diagnosis, and I don't feel like forking over $6K per CT scan. To subsidize our local $1M/year hospital CEO.

          You know what a hospital in Germany gets paid for a CT abdomen/pelvis w/ contrast? 50 bucks!!! If that doesn't outrage anyone on this list, I don't know what will.

          Originally posted by Scott View Post
          Matthias, if you are going to post here, you'll need to be civil.

          Comment


          • #6
            I absolutely agree with you about that unfairness. Just don't take it out on Paul. He's a good guy.
            Scott, scott@tc-cancer.com
            right inguinal orchiectomy 6/5/2003 > nonseminoma, stage I > surveillance > L-RPLND 6/24/2005 for recurrence, suspected teratoma but found seminoma, stage II > chylous ascites until 9/2005 > surveillance and "all clear" since


            Your donation funds LIVESTRONG Foundation services for people facing cancer now. Please join me!

            Comment


            • #7
              Matthias,
              Family plans cost $1,000-1,200 per month. I was refering to individual's cost of about $400/month. Under the stimulus package subsidy of 65%, family plans would cost about $400 and individuals $140/month.
              "Statistics are human beings with the tears wiped off" - Paul Brodeur
              Diagnosis: 05Sept07 Right I/O: 13Sept07; Pure Seminoma; Surveillance only per NCCN: All Clear August2013 (CT scan, Markers)

              Comment


              • #8
                True, and as I stated in my response the $1,200/mo. is for a family of four. However, I thought your initial post was grossly misleading by stating that COBRA runs approx. $400/mo. You should have added the "individual" qualifier.

                Lastly, let's not forget who brought us the 65% health insurance subsidy; who voted and didn't vote for it. As I am no longer covered under COBRA it won't make a difference to me, but I am grateful that hopefully many more Americans can keep their health insurance in these difficult times.


                Originally posted by Paul54 View Post
                Matthias,
                Family plans cost $1,000-1,200 per month. I was refering to individual's cost of about $400/month. Under the stimulus package subsidy of 65%, family plans would cost about $400 and individuals $140/month.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If I were selling insurance policies and led anyone to believe that they could buy a family plan for $400, it would be "grossly misleading". I'm not in the medical insurance business, but a lot of insurance news flows through our network.

                  My intent in posting news that impacts our members is solely to raise awareness. I bet there are many people who didn't even know COBRA existed as a back-stop. Now they can at least look into it. The news that rates will decline under the package should be taken as good news, although the problems with affordability and access to care still needs a lot of work. Everybody knows that.

                  As a forum member, you are as welcome as everybody else to post news and information related to the fight against cancer, insurance issues, or most anything else. Direct the flame-throwing at the people who made the mess the world is in right now. I'll bet there are hundreds of forums for that kind of thing. Good luck being heard out there.
                  "Statistics are human beings with the tears wiped off" - Paul Brodeur
                  Diagnosis: 05Sept07 Right I/O: 13Sept07; Pure Seminoma; Surveillance only per NCCN: All Clear August2013 (CT scan, Markers)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by matthias View Post
                    I thought your initial post was grossly misleading
                    Matthias - You're continuing to attack Paul's words. I'd delete your post, but Paul has responded with such admirable restraint and eloquence that I'll let it stand.

                    You're most welcome to express opinions, give information or even question (sensitively) statements that you don't agree with, but you must not criticise the words or actions of other members. It not only leads to bad feeling, but it also distracts us all from the task of helping people who are affected by testicular cancer.

                    Please drop this now.
                    Last edited by Smartie; 02-16-09, 04:25 PM. Reason: Grammar
                    Nick

                    Embryonal Carcinoma; Seminoma. Marker negative.
                    August 2001: Right I/O .
                    August - December 2001: Surveillance .
                    December 2001: Relapse - Stage III. Mets in lymph nodes and lung.
                    December 2001 - March 2002: 3xBEP .
                    Complications: Neutropaenic sepsis during cycles 1 & 3. I/V antibiotics and isolation.

                    March 2012 - Ten years since finishing chemo.

                    Survivorship Blog is here

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Paul,

                      I was interested to see the figures you quoted. I knew from some US friends that medical insurance was high but hadn't seen any figures. Those of us who are covered by the state need to bear in mind that our cover is paid through our taxes. In the UK, the government spend on heatlth works out at around $3,000 per person, based on the current exchange rate. About half of UK health is funded as a direct tax on pay. From what I have seen CT scans from private companies in the UK come in between $500 and $1,400, although some may be much higher.
                      Jon
                      Left orchiectomy May 2008, AFP 1600, βHCG 200and normal after 5 months (AFP4, βHCG<1)
                      Non-Seminoma stage 1 - Under surveillance
                      3 years on and still all clear

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Jon,
                        Health care insurance in the U.S. is so complicated that any company large enough to be able to provide private coverage has a staff just for benefits, or pays a contractor, or both. In addition to private coverage, there is Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and special programs for federal and many state workers.

                        COBRA is specifically designed to pick up loss of private coverage due to termination, lay-off, bankruptcy, or loss of dependence such as when someone over 19 does not go to college or eventually graduates and is no longer a dependent. COBRA is more expensive than typical private plans mostly because it is considered "adverse risk", meaning a large percent of applicants have medical conditions or pregnancy.
                        "Statistics are human beings with the tears wiped off" - Paul Brodeur
                        Diagnosis: 05Sept07 Right I/O: 13Sept07; Pure Seminoma; Surveillance only per NCCN: All Clear August2013 (CT scan, Markers)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          COBRA has a lot of "loopholes" (most of which benefit the employee), a few of which bear pointing out here. Mind you, this is a veeerrrry abbreviated overview.

                          Upon termination, the employer has up to fourty-four days to notify the employee of the right to COBRA benefits. The employee then has sixty days to make an election (i.e. to sign up for COBRA coverage or not), and counting from the day of the election, the employee then has forty-five days to send in the first payment.

                          So theoretically, one can have a significant amount of medical treatment in the first few months after termination and, if the procedures are properly complied with, still be eligible for COBRA coverage for them, even if the first payment has not yet been made.

                          Also, note that HIPAA prohibits insurance companies from considering ANY condition "pre-existing" if there is a gap of 63 days (or less) in coverage. So keep that in mind if you're switching to a new job and health insurance coverage doesn't kick in for more than two months.

                          While I certainly wish no one ever needed to know this stuff, hopefully this will help make the decision whether to sign up for COBRA a bit easier.
                          Let's Go Mets! sigh...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Excellent point

                            Originally posted by NYC Russ View Post
                            Also, note that HIPAA prohibits insurance companies from considering ANY condition "pre-existing" if there is a gap of 63 days (or less) in coverage. So keep that in mind if you're switching to a new job and health insurance coverage doesn't kick in for more than two months.
                            This is a very interesting point, Russ, and I am glad you are making it here (I myself had not heard about this). Given that I may be switching jobs sometime in the next 6-9 months and am likely to take some time off in between, it is important to take this into consideration. I assume electing COBRA does not constitute a lapse in coverage, right?
                            "Life moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller
                            11.22.06 -Dx the day before Thanksgiving
                            12.09.06 -Rt I/O; 100% seminoma, multifocal; Stage I-A; Surveillance; Six years out! I consider myself cured.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Fed View Post
                              I assume electing COBRA does not constitute a lapse in coverage, right?
                              You are correct, sir. Which, despite its exorbitant cost, is probably the biggest benefit of COBRA for those in situations such as ours. Plus, you can theoretically make the election, and, if your new job provides a group health coverage plan on the start date, actually have COBRA coverage (in case of emergency) but never actually have to pay for it.

                              In addition, Obama/Congress was working on expanding the program to make it even more employee-friendly, which was to be included in the stimulus package. Let me see if I can't find some info...

                              {aha!}
                              The House and Senate’s proposed economic stimulus packages contain provisions which significantly modify COBRA. Both bills include temporary premium assistance to employees who are involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009. The House bill includes a substantially expanded period of COBRA coverage for employees who are either age 55 or older or who have worked for an employer for 10 or more years when the qualifying event (termination of employment or reduction in hours) occurs.
                              There's more: http://www.gallagherbenefits.com/por...32&cached=true

                              No idea if/how much of it actually passed. I haven't had the inclination to read all 1100 pages of it (yet)
                              Let's Go Mets! sigh...

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