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Laurie McGinley, Executive Editor for News, spent 27 years at The Wall Street Journal, most recently as the deputy bureau chief for global economics. She was a national health care policy correspondent and was part of a reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1997 for AIDS coverage.

If You Lose Your Coverage

Lost your employer health insurance? Consider these tips:

  • If your spouse has a separate plan, act quickly to get on it.
  • Ask about your COBRA rights. With some exceptions, laid-off workers can continue their coverage for 18 months by paying its full cost. (Congress is considering a temporary, 65 percent premium subsidy.)
  • If COBRA coverage isn’t an affordable option, explore non-group plans. Make sure that any coverage meets the requirements to protect you against preexisting condition exclusions in the future. State rules vary.
  • Check out public insurance programs such as Medicaid and SCHIP, and community clinics. If you’re not eligible now, you might be later. Local health and social services departments may be helpful resources.
  • When paying out-of-pocket for care, try to negotiate lower charges with doctors and hospitals.

SOURCES: Interviews with consumer advocates, insurance experts

Peggy Girshman, Executive Editor for Online, is a former managing editor of National Public Radio, an Executive Editor at Congressional Quarterly and also worked as a producer for Dateline NBC and several PBS series. She has won two Peabody Awards for health policy coverage.

, Executive Editor for Online, is a former managing editor of National Public Radio, an Executive Editor at Congressional Quarterly and also worked as a producer for Dateline NBC and several PBS series. She has won two Peabody Awards for health policy coverage.

 

EDITORIAL STAFF ohn Fairhall, Senior Editor, was a reporter and editor at the Baltimore Sun for 27 years. As an assistant managing editor, he oversaw health and science coverage as well as projects.

Jill Braden Balderas, M.P.H., Senior Web Editor, was kaisernetwork.org’s managing editor and a Reuters Health Television senior producer and correspondent.

Stephanie Stapleton, Web Editor, was an editor and a reporter at American Medical News newspaper and online site.

Kate Steadman, Assistant Editor

Beth Liu, Senior Web Producer

Kristen Carriker, Outreach Coordinator