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Hello, thanks in advance for your help and time.

I am 63.5 years old and retiring Dec 31, 2015.

My question is: Should I take my company's COBRA plan or get my own individual health insurance? And should I continue the COBRA dental plan my company offers ($30 a month)?

I am in good health. My only conditions are sleep apnea (moderate) which is under control, and acid reflux. Everything else is in great condition.

I am thinking two things. 1. With the COBRA, I will have great coverage if something happens. Cost is about $500.

2. With individual health insurance, I might be spending less and save out of pocket money. But if something happens healthwise, I might be liable for huge hospital bills, for instance.

So, I don't know the best thing to do.

Again, thanks for your help.

Hello, Robert:

If you believe that you would NOT qualify for premium assistance with an individual plan through the federal Marketplace,, I highly recommend that you go with the COBRA plan. Here is an online tool to see if you possibly qualify for premium assistance,
The COBRA plan probably has a lower deductible and lower Maximum Out Of Pocket than what you can find in the individual market. The COBRA plan likely has a much larger doctor/hospital network.
The individual market throughout the country is in rough shape for 2016, with large rate increases anticipated, and much smaller provider networks. If we were to compare your COBRA plan with a 2016 individual plan offered in your state, I suspect it would not be close, COBRA would win hands down as the best value. $500 a month is a very good deal. Compared to 2016 individual rates, it is a great deal! $30 a month for dental is also very inexpensive. If looking online at different individual plans, be certain that you are viewing 2016 rates and plans, as there likely is a world of difference in rates and benefits between 2015 and 2016 plans in your area. Many insurers have not posted rates and plans for 2016 yet, but will within the next couple of weeks.

Again, the only reason you should go with an individual plan is if you qualify for premium assistance. If not, take COBRA, it is the way to go.

Thank you.

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Michael Higgins


All questions pertaining to health insurance, whether group, individual/family, student, child-only, COBRA, HIPAA, Portability, dental. No expert knowledge in areas such as life insurance, disability, workman's compensation, auto, etc.


34 years as owner of health insurance agency, primarily dealing with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona.

College, Business Administration.

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