Laid off workers seek coverage

By Andy Jenks - bio | email

Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Workers who are laid off worry not only about their next paycheck but also, about their health coverage.

NBC12 spoke with a professor and author on all things related to health insurance. And the message is to get some kind of coverage while you're looking for that next job.

The 15-hundred workers just laid off from memory chip maker Qimonda, had their benefits terminated the moment they were sent home.

Facing the prospect of going months without any coverage, employees are learning about COBRA, the legally mandated program of continuing the benefits they had before only, at full price.

COBRA can be expensive. A two-person household, for example, can run more than a thousand dollars a month. There are, of course, less expensive options. But be sure you know what's covered, and what's not.

Dr Etti Baranoff of VCU says laid off workers, especially those who are young and healthy, would be wise to at least consider a high deductible plan, like the ones that can be found on the website "E health insurance".

"They think in terms of catastrophes, and this is why high deductible can fit into this picture," said Baranoff.

Those plans, while cheaper, are unlikely to cover most routine expenses. If that's a concern, sites like healthcare advocacy, and the patient advocate foundation offer additional help.

Even your Triple A card can save you money on medicine and eyewear.

Without any income, the cost of coverage can be painful. But experts say that's nothing compared to the cost of a healthcare calamity.

"I cannot believe how devastating," said Baranoff. "Even if you go to hospitals and you don't have coverage, for the rest of your life you pay back."

For helpful information on health insurance you can visit these websites.

Patient Advocate Foundation:

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