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Out of Work, Out of Insurance

There is a growing number of Americans out of work these days. As this number increases the number of people who are uninsured increases also. Why? The cost of COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation ACT) has proved to be too expensive for the majority of American workers.

COBRA is not insurance nor an insurance company. When passed by Congress in 1986, it was a stop-gap measure to ensure laid-off or retired workers could continue to get group health insurance rates under certain conditions for up to 18 months.

In the Obama stimulus legislation is reportedly a provision whereby the federal subsidy is suppose to pick up 65% of the monthly cost for certain workers up to 12 months.

With the jobless rate approaching 8% those without jobs are at a greater risk of losing their health coverage. Some study groups have stated that COBRA premiums nationally are as much as 80-85% of a workers unemployment check.

So what are your options:

1. Check with your individual states to see if they have programs that will bring relief.
2. Check the private sector for limited benefit plans.
3. Look at the possibility of obtaining high deductible plans.
4. Look into short term plans.
5. Check out becoming a member in an association that has health care plans.

If you are really sick or have a long term condition, limited benefit plans will not help you. If you are fairly healthy, these plans are a good fix. High deductible and short term plans can be helpful in the short term.

Most consumer advocates encourage people to look at all options before buying anything.

For help finding Health Insurance for unemployed or self-employed go to:

Obed Kirkpatrick is a Louisiana man, born and raised. He attended grade school and high school in the North Louisiana towns of Jonesboro-Hodge and then went to Monroe, Louisiana and attended, what is known today as The University of Louisiana-Monroe.

After graduating from the university he spent 4 years in the military, three in Germany and one in El Paso, Texas. Then his alma mater called him back to Monroe to be the Director of Student Activities. Feeling the need for change and the prospect for a better income, Obed began a career in insurance and real estate. Before long he was called to Alexandria, Louisiana where he eventually became the Vice-President of a Louisiana Life Insurance Company. He became actively involved in the Junior Chamber of Commerce and a local Baptist Church, where he taught Sunday School classes, sang in the choir and eventually became Chairman of the Deacons. Within a few years he started a real estate company and after only eighteen months it had grow to be the largest in volume in Central Louisiana, and remained so until he sold the company to his partner-friend.

By: Obed Kirkpatrick

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