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Published on Jun 1, 2010
For people losing their COBRA subsidy, health reform provides some new alternatives to coverage. Starting in 2010, if your COBRA subsidy ends, and you can't afford to continue COBRA without the subsidy, you may be able to take advantage of new and improved consumer protections for people who buy their own coverage. Again, these changes go into effect in 2010. Starting in 2014, health reform will allow consumers- regardless of their level of health - to buy private health insurance and provide subsidies to help qualifying lower-income Americans pay for their premiums when they don't get insurance from an employer. ? If you can't qualify for private insurance because of a pre-existing medical condition, you would have to stay on COBRA for 18 months, at which time you'll have the option to buy what's called a HIPAA coverage plan. Beginning in the Fall of 2010, the Federal government will also be expanding access to high-risk insurance pools for people with pre-existing conditions, which function just like private insurance. BUT, high-risk pools are not always less expensive than COBRA, or HIPAA insurance. And, one of the requirements for accessing a high-risk health insurance pool is that a person must be uninsured for 6 months.