Depending on where you live, there are plenty of affordable private individual health insurance plans that you can apply for. Just keep in mind that private individual health insurance is “underwritten” in most states & not guaranteed issue. That means whether or not the carrier issues a policy will depend upon the applicant’s health history. I am not saying every simple flu or cold can get you declined, but I am saying that it is considered during the underwriting process. For the same reason, I am a bit concerned about how you mentioned that your daughter came home ill, “and was out too long”. As long as her illness is not of a chronic nature & she is completely done with her diagnosis & treatment & has a clear bill of health from her doctor that may not be an issue.
Without knowing where you live, I can't give you any more details, but no matter where you live, I recommend you get it through a licensed agent who deals with most of the leading insurance companies in your state. That way he/she can help you pick a carrier/plan that matches your risk/needs. If/when your daughter is approved for the individual plan of her choice; you can then cancel her COBRA.
To look at your options for individual plans, you can contact a local licensed agent or go to a licensed online agency like (the one I work for) www.eHealthInsurance.com . You can call eHealthInsurance with any questions regarding plan benefits, eligibility or application process.
Depending on the timing of the leave of absence, the your employer may be mandated to cover your daughter (due to a bill named "Michelle's Law" that passed in October of 2008). Please see below for more information. Hope this helps...
""Michelle's Law" was enacted on October 9, 2008, and provides for continuity of medical coverage for college students under their parent's coverage when they take a medically necessary leave of absence from college. It is named after a student who would have lost coverage under her parent's plan if she reduced her course-load to treat cancer and ceased being a "full-time" student. It now prohibits a group health plan from terminating coverage of a dependent child due to a medically necessary leave of absence, if that dependent is enrolled in post-secondary education.
Generally, the law provides that the plan cannot terminate coverage prior to the earlier of the date that is one year after the first day of the medically necessary leave of absences or the date on which such coverage would otherwise terminate under the terms of the plan. A medically necessary leave of absence must commence while the child is suffering from a serious illness or injury, be medically necessary and cause the child to lose student status as defined by the plan. A plan can require certification of the condition from a treating physician."