There are many layoffs possible for today’s workforce. It is important to be ready, especially when it concerns health insurance.

Obama’s stimulus package recently includes a 65 percent subsidy for COBRA premiums, up to nine-months.

Anyone who was laid off after September 1st 2008 is eligible for the subsidy provided they meet other criteria. eHealth, Inc. provides answers to questions regarding the subsidy. www.COBRALearning.comYou can also use the COBRA subsidy calculator to determine your monthly subsidized payments.

But, don’t forget to “auto-enroll”If you have a COBRA plan for nine months, it is worth exploring the individual market for health insurance. The J.D. The 2009 National Health Insurance Plan Study by Power and Associates found that individuals who had purchased their own health insurance were more satisfied than those who had healthcare through small employers (50 employees or less).

Additionally, individual health insurance premiums are on average 60 percent lower than average monthly COBRA premiums.

COBRA could be the best option for those with pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes. COBRA might be more costly than private insurance for relatively healthy people.

A healthy, single male of 30 years old could pay $380 per monthly on COBRA and $133 after subsidy. The same man could find individual insurance through a named-brand company for $65 per month. You can be denied coverage if you go through the underwriting process for individual plans. COBRA plans are group plans that have a different set of benefits, deductibles and other features.

Chris Hakim, Director COBRA Solutions at eHealthInsurance. “People struggling to make ends meet should explore health insurance coverage in the private market as an alternative to COBRA.

A 2008 survey of 227,000 private health insurance policies found that 50 percent of individual holders paid less than $130 a month, and that over 50 percent of families paid under $300 per month. Over 90 percent of the plans surveyed included lab visits, x-rays and trips to the emergency room and to the OB/GYN. More than 80 percent also covered prescription drugs, well baby visits and periodic exams.

For more information, visit”>