What’s the benefit of getting COBRA over an individual insurance plan?

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Asked August 23, 2010

1 Answer


The primary thing that needs to be understood about COBRA health insurance is that it is only temporary. Except under special circumstances, COBRA will last for no more than 36 months, and is more often limited to only 18 months. There are some situations where COBRA may be your only option, or can serve as coverage between insurance providing employers. COBRA itself is not an insurance plan at all, but an act of congress which requires insurance companies to offer the ability to continue coverage to persons who are in danger of losing the group coverage they already possess.

If you expect to receive a health insurance package from an employer or other source in the near future, it may be best to take advantage of the COBRA plan. If you only need coverage temporarily and COBRA allows you to maintain your ongoing medical treatments without interruption or change of doctors.

Additionally, individual health insurance plans often require strenuous health examinations which are not required under group coverage. Using the availability of COBRA allows you to continue receiving health care even if your condition has deteriorated to a high insurance risk. What you must remember is that COBRA has a defined time limit, and it is in your best interest to find another group health insurance plan while it is in effect. On the other hand, if you are young and in good health, individual insurance may be less expensive, due to the tendency of such plans to charge each policyholder according to their specific risk assessment.

Answered August 23, 2010 by Anonymous

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