It seems that there is a new health care crisis looming -one we may not have seen coming. The average monthly COBRA bill for a family is almost $1500. And the newly unemployed simply can’t afford it. Sometimes, the monthly unemployment insurance is less than that. Only a very small percentage of those affected by layoffs are accepting COBRA. And that means that we have a whole new uninsured population.
Doctors are reporting fewer office visits. Dentists who never had available appointment slots do now. Pharmacists are reporting an increase in unfilled prescriptions and refills not being picked up.
At this point, this is fairly anectodal but the short and long term impact on the health care system is likely to be severe. We haven’t seen where this is going but it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere good.