Stethoscope and cutout of people figures According to EBRI’s findings, COBRA beneficiaries are more likely to have certain health conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or diabetes. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Individuals who are covered by COBRA are “systematically different” than the full-time workers who receive benefits through an employer, including the fact that COBRA beneficiaries rack up 300% more in total health care costs, according to a report from Employee Benefit Research Institute released Thursday.

The study, which EBRI asserts is the first of its kind, comes in the wake of calls to expand access to COBRA coverage as more than 17.8 million Americans find themselves out of work during the coronavirus pandemic, according to U.S. Department of Labor data.

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