Questions Regarding COBRA vs Marketplace Health Insurance


I am single and recently found myself in the unenviable position of being downsized from multinational company as an IT professional where I was employed for 17 years and at the same time was presented with some unfortunate health news for the first time in my life.

I chose to continue health coverage through the COBRA plan however open enrollment is in effect until next Friday and am weighing my options which are:

  1. Continue same coverage - Core HDHP → Cost $8,202.62 per year
    a). $1750 deductible - In Network
    b). $3500 deductible - Out Of Network

  2. Change to Basic HDHP → Cost $7,741.53 per year
    a). $2250 deductible - In Network
    b). $4500 deductible - Out Of Network

  3. Change to PPO plan → Cost $8,659.23 per year
    a). $500 deductible - In Network
    b). $1000 deductible - Out Of Network

  4. Change to Marketplace Plan

There’s a ton of details for the different COBRA plans and I compared the cost and they’re pretty similar.

Just wanted to check and see if anyone out there has run into anything similar…

thanks and God Bless

What are the premiums for each? Generally, HDHP plans are good if you end up spending a lot or a little in a year for health care. In the middle, it’s a tougher call.

And good luck. Getting downsized stinks, but you’re in a good profession.

1 Like

Updated original post to include premiums.

Thanks for the reply…

In my experience of looking at Marketplace plans, they are generally more expensive with higher deductibles, but that depends on income, your state, and other things. You’ll also have to determine if you can get the same doctors in the Marketplace plan. I’d say if the COBRA plans are similar in cost, including deductibles, premiums, and max out of pocket, then I’d stick with one of those unless you can find a better deal with a marketplace plan and you can keep your doctors. And if you have health issues, then I’d probably stick with what you have and know.

I’ve been looking to retire and would need a health plan for a few years until Medicare kicks in. So, I’ve done some research on this for myself.


I was in your position about 9 years ago and I stayed on COBRA for the max 18 months and then went on the Marketplace plan. It was more expensive and worse insurance but I had no choice. Luckily I had no medical issues. Like rjratnip I had to have it for a few years till I could get on Medicare. I also agree with everything rjratnip says. Those were my thoughts exactly!

1 Like

Thanks everybody.

Don’t stay on Cobra past your Medicare sign up window. It doesn’t count as employer healthcare for Medicare purposes. You’ll harvest the lifetime penalty.

I’m not eligible for Medicare for another three years.

OK, your COBRA will run out by then. Sign up for Medicare 3 months before your 65th birthday.

I retired a few years ago before I was 65. I worked for state/local govenrment and one of their rules was that if I was on the pension they had to offer me the insurance I was on (COBRA) until I turned 65, but they didn’t subsidize any of it, so my insurance was about $800 per month. I called an insurance agent who was a navigator for the marketplace and he gave me a very honest answer - he said that there were cheaper plans out there, but if I was happy with the coverage (forget the price) I had, it’s better to keep it since many of the marketplace plans usually don’t cover as much. I’m on Medicare now so I’m saving quite a bit.

Right, you can’t get the very best care sometimes with marketplace plans. It’s shameful how hospitals essentially discriminate based something beyond your control. It really should not be legal. How can Cigna marketplace plan be treated differently than a Cigna corporate plan or Medicare + Cigna Medigap. I mean give me a break.