What a great, and relevant, thread. I'll just add my own experience with COBRA: back in 1996, I was hired by my present employer but with health coverage only kicking in six months after hire. I debated not continuing coverage under my COBRA from my previous employer during the interim. I'm glad I did: during that six-month period was when I was diagnosed with my first TC. Had I not continued my COBRA, I shudder to think what would have happened. And the COBRA policy was a PPO. No referrals. At these hard times, it might be tempting to forego COBRA because of the cost. Don't if you can manage it.
TC1: 1996, right orchiectomy, seminoma stage I 3.5 cm mass, radiation therapy (peri-aortic & pelvic 27.3 Gy)
TC2: 2008, left orchiectomy, seminoma stage IA 5 cm mass, left & right prostheses, AndroGel TRT, surveillance at MSKCC