DD graduating! What about insurance???

patrice607November 15, 2006

I just got off the phone with our insurance company. DD will be off our insurance the night she graduates - 12/16.

Cobra is over $600/month. I have looked online and found a few short term policies but they are expensive and don't cover much. W'e be paying about $100/month with a $1,000 deductible. Any ideas/suggestions would be welcomed.

She is looking for a teaching job but I need a contingency plan just in case.

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$100 sounds good to me. $600 sounds really high, I hope you have a good plan. I work as a retirement/health care actuary, so I see a lot of premiums that employers are charged for their employees' health care.

Now, back when I was 20 and needed temporary health care, I went to an insurance agent. I got a policy for $20 a month with a very large deductible. Since that was almost 30 years ago, I think $100 is very reasonable.

But still, go to an independent insurance agent and see what's available. There are also online resources that will find insurance for you. Since I don't know your zip code, I can't get a good comparison from one of those sites.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 2:36PM
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Does DD's alumni association offer group medical insurance?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 8:04PM
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I also did a policy with a large deductible when I was in a similar situation. It was very cheap. I think the deductible was around $2500 or so. The idea is to cover catastrophic incidences (the type that bankrupt you or kill you), not smaller things.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 8:38PM
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patrice, they won't give you a grace period?

I'd ask- ours did for DivaD1 with a slight upcharge. I think they gave us 6 months, but we had to ask. They certainly didn't offer.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 8:44PM
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The $100 policy sounds like a screaming deal. Because we are self-employed, my DH and I pay $760/mo (for both of us), and we have a $3,600 annual deductible, .

I recently read a long article in the WSJ about children remaining on adult policies long after graduation, as long as they live at home. It was probably within the last few months, maybe since August? Perhaps it would give you some other ideas.


    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 4:06AM
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I'm not sure where you are, but here in NY (not exactly a cheap state) individual COBRA policies run in the $250/month range and $600 would be for 2 person coverage. Make sure your HR department is quoting you the individual rate for your DD and don't forget to factor in that *your* coverage may go down in cost, say if you are changing from family to 2-person or from 2-person to individual. Perhaps you could help with the COBRA through those savings.

Also, companies are only allowed to charge a 3% administrative premium over the actual cost of the health care coverage to COBRA participants, so ask your HR department for the actual cost of individual coverage and how much (if any) your costs will go down when she gets off your policy.

WRT individual coverage, sue36 is exactly correct, the point is to make the deductible as high as possible and pay for the small things out of pocket. Since this is a temporary situation, this may be a cheaper option, however, if your DD has a chronic or pre-existing condition or has high script costs per month, the CORBA policy might be a better deal.

Good luck-


    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 9:44AM
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Here in NJ, they just passed a law that health insurance providers must now offer continued coverage to dependants under the age of 30. My son, who just gradutated college in May (hooray!!) is covered by my usual insurance, and it does cost more, but it isn't as much as COBRA would be. (he's paying about $225.00/month, $30.00 co-pay yada yada). It is billed seperately from my paycheck deductions. I don't know what other states have instituted this, but here's a link to the NJ web site:


He doesn't have to live at my address, just within the state of NJ, can not be married or have any children to be elegible for this. It's hard for recent grads to get full-time jobs and most health insurers will drop them right after graduation. Hopefully more states (or our federal government) will take this into consideration.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 10:03AM
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We got the paperwork today. Over $600 was optimistic - the exact cost is $890.00 per month! The company has a very generous insurance program (We pay nothing) and they are self-insured. I'm grateful for the fantastic coverage so I don't want to rock the boat by asking for an extention. We checked into gradmed which mentions DD's school. I will check with the alumni association. The NJ law is interesting but it only covers the under 30's if they are full time students. DD wd be covered under our policy if she continues to go to school full time. I will look for the WSJ article. Thanks for all the great suggestions!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 11:34PM
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No, in NJ, they do not have to be a full-time student for the extended coverage. It's for kids under 30 who have graduated or for whatever reasson are no longer in school. I'm not sure how many states have this law now.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 9:50AM
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Kitchenwitch -

That's quite a deal! My husband's employer has a facility in NJ. I'm wondering if I talked to the right people...

I found that article in the WSJ. http://www.experthealthquote.com/news/articles/Grads,%20You%20Need%20Coverage%20_05_08_2006.pdf

Thanks for all the help.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 12:11PM
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Is she healthy? What about an individual plan at Kaiser, or some other local HMO. Really, at that age you need coverage for some kind of catastrophe, like an accident or serious illness. She probably only goes to the dr. once a year for a gyn check up, right? I hardly ever went to the dr. at that age. That said, it's dangerous not to have insurance, but I would bet you can find a much better deal somewhere else. I'd also go for a high deductible, much better in this situation, with higher out of pocket expenses for the few times a year she might go to the dr. but lower premium costs. If/when she gets a job, she'll have her own coverage.

Some individual plans to check into are PCHS (Private Healthcare Systems), and Kaiser.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2006 at 7:31PM
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Please note: the following is based on my non-professional understanding of COBRA. Please discuss with your insurance agent! Now that the caveat is complete:

For our 3 college graduates, we have taken advantage of the 60 day COBRA election period. You have 60 days after the "qualifying event" (graduation in this case) to decide whether you want to elect for COBRA. Anytime within that 60 days, you can elect for COBRA coverage and it will be applied retroactively. For example, if your daughter doesnÂt need medical insurance at all in the sixty days after graduation, she doesnÂt have to elect for COBRA. If she does need medical care -even in an emergency - as long as she elects coverage in that 60 day window she will get coverage retroactively. Payments are also retroactive though, so if she elects coverage on day 60, she will still owe payments for days 1 - 59 no matter whether she needed care during that time. The trick is for her to find a job in the first 60 days that has health benefits! If she is at day 55 with no prospects in sight, then you sign her up for COBRA and pay for the past 2 months. If she does get a job in the 60 days, youÂve skated through the 2 months without risk and you've saved a bundle of $. It's important for you to understand that during the 60 days you don't waive your right to coverage, you just don't elect coverage. If you actually waive the right to elect continuation coverage during the 60-day period, you can change your mind and the waiver can be revoked at any time up to the end of the 60-day period. The employer is not required, however, to provide retroactive coverage in this situation.
Hope this makes sense...

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 7:16PM
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We have been on COBRA several times...the thing to understand is yes, it is retroactive, HOWEVER, if she should need health insurance during that time, it is useless to go to a dr. or worse, be in an accident or incur some urgent, severe medical costs and say to the admissions department, that you will need to apply for COBRA. They will treat you like you are uninsured (even though you are COBRA eligible), and you will be treated as a self-pay patient and charged the full freight cost of your medical care instead of a reduced, discounted amount health insurers pay. Have you ever received a bill from a medical lab and it says that the price of a test is $100, but for your insurance company the discounted price is $12.00 and your co-pay is $3.50? I'm making those numbers up, but it's kind of like that - you really would be shocked at the amount charged to uninsured people versus those with insurance. With COBRA, if you do not present a valid medical card, you will be charged and treated like you have no insurance. Once you apply, pay your retroactive premiums, then you will need to go back and sort through the bills -- GOOD LUCK! Most doctors, if you can't provide proof of insurance at the time of service, will make you pay up front, the full fee. I doubt you would be able to get them to reimburse you what you overpaid several months down the road. Also, it can take up to 6 weeks to apply for COBRA and then get your medical cards.

My neighbor is a lawyer and worked on the origianl COBRA regulations. I had a discussion with her one day about these kinds of points and she was amazed, they had not considered how people are actually charged for and pay for medical services under the "limbo period." I've been through this, and it was a PIA big time. The concept of retroactive coverage, imho, is not a good one. Try to find some kind of continuous coverage for her.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 9:03AM
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