I haven't had to worry about medical insurance for the past 20 years that I have worked. When the economy went bad, our business struggled. They stopped hiring anyone, then they began to cut everyone's hours. Eventually people started hearing rumors that there were going to be lay offs. Sure enough I got a pink slip I had not prepared for. My wife had a good job and I was still healthy and willing to pound the pavement to find a new job. But in the meantime we had to pay for our own medical benefits.
All these years I did not realize how much it cost each month. When I got my first COBRA bill I panicked. I just lost my job and the budget was so tight. We did not have the 800 dollars each month to pay for it. I made sure to see my doctor before my coverage had ended to get a check up. The doctor confirmed that I was in great shape and shouldn't have to worry about my health as long as I continued to eat healthy and exercise. I told him that I would not be able to afford the monthly cost for the COBRA insurance benefits that my company had offered me. He said he did not think I needed it anyway.
That's when he started talking about these temporary health insurance plans. He said that the company plans are very expensive because they have benefits that most people could do without. Doctor visit copayments are nice, but if you only go to the doctor once or twice a year, paying out of pocket can make sense. Plus if you are just between jobs for a few months, you may not even need to see the doctor at all during that time. You don't want to go without coverage because you are an appendix away from a huge medical bill at any time until you get your appendix taken out.
These short term health insurance plans cost a fraction of the regular major medical plans, and less than half of what COBRA usually is. Coverage for hospitalization and surgery is the same as it would be with the most expensive plans. You just need to make sure some of the monthly savings can be used to pay for the doctor visit you might need if you get the flu.
With that advice, I felt much more confident about my monthly budget. An unemployed survival kit should include short term health insurance to help you maintain coverage at the least expensive cost.