COBRA expense affects safety net appeal
The Denver Post, January 3, 2008
Under the federal law known as COBRA, employees and their dependents who lose health coverage as a result of a job loss or other qualifying occurrences can remain on the same health plan for up to 18 months. COBRA can be more appealing than buying an individual health plan because costs in a group plan are often lower than what an employee would pay under an individual plan, where all the risk is borne by the employee alone. Yet, it is the former employee--not the employer-- who is typically responsible for up to 100 percent of the cost of the premium, as well as a 2 percent administrative fee, both of which continue to climb, making the service less desirable for some and too expensive for others who remain unemployed.