Laid off Florida Workers Can’t Afford Health Care

It sounded like a good system.

When you lose your job, you have the option to extend your medical insurance for another 18 months until you find another job. That’s what COBRA is supposed to do to get you through.
A new study says that Florida is one of nine states where the cost of COBRA exceeds your unemployment benefits. The likely outcome is you won’t be able to afford extending your health care coverage unless you dip into your savings.

For example, COBRA premiums cost an average of $1,037 a month for a family. The unemployment insurance pays $1,013. Do the math.

The report is issued by Families USA and comes from the U.S. Department of Labor.

This is sobering news at a time when the nation’s unemployment rate is 7.2 percent, the highest reported in 15 years. Last October, Florida’s unemployment rate also hit a 15-year high at 7 percent, according to the state’s Agency for Workforce Innovation. That represents 655,000 out of work among a 9.3 million strong work force.

In 41 states, COBRA premiums cost more than three-fourths of unemployment benefits. In Florida it amounts to 102 percent of your pay check through unemployment. Do the math – your family will likely go without.

“COBRA health coverage is great in theory and lousy in reality,” Families USA Director Ron Pollak said during a press conference Friday morning. “For the vast majority of workers who are laid off, they and their families are likely to join the ranks of the uninsured.”

We can all do our part to impact the rising cost of health care by considering very carefully whether we need the medicine that our doctors are so eager to prescribe. There may be safer alternatives that reduce the cost of health care and are safer for you in the long run.

It is important to understand your rights when it comes to health care and pharmaceutical laws. If you are seeking information or need a personal injury lawyer in Jacksonville, then contact Farah & Farah today and we will contact you within 24 hours.

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