Now that health care reform is constitutional, there is a little-known benefit: the ability of the unemployed to purchase affordable insurance.
Yes, the COBRA law prevents insurance companies from dropping people from employer-provided policies; however, the cost is prohibitive. When I was unemployed, my policy was $600 per month, not including co-pays. It can now be as high as $800.
Because the recently unemployed usually earned too much during their last year to qualify for Medicaid, their only choices besides COBRA are to risk no health insurance or to pay for private-market plans that can cost even more if comparable to their previous plans. Fortunately, when the new insurance exchanges are set up, they will be able to participate and perhaps qualify for subsidy under the expanded Medicaid program. So if you are unemployed or have friends and family who are jobless, give thanks that the Supreme Court ruled as it did.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Tribune