COBRA Insurance Information

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Understanding COBRA Insurance

COBRA, or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, is a federal law that allows workers and their families who have lost their employer-provided health insurance due to specific life events to continue the same group health coverage for a limited period. Under COBRA, qualified individuals have the opportunity to continue their health benefits temporarily, even when their coverage under the group health plan would otherwise come to an end.

Qualifying Events

These qualifying events trigger your eligibility for COBRA insurance and can range from voluntary or involuntary job loss to transitions between jobs. Other events such as a reduction in work hours, death, and divorce also qualify. Understanding these events is essential for knowing when you can opt for COBRA coverage to maintain your health benefits.

Employer Size

In addition to a qualifying event, continuation of the health plan is in part dependent on the size of the employer. The business must have had 20 or more employees in the previous year.

Learn The Rules Of COBRA

For more on the rules of COBRA insurance and how it can support you and your family during important life transitions, check out our guide: What Is COBRA Insurance?

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Eligibility Topics

Getting COBRA insurance starts with a qualifying event that would terminate a person’s employer-based health insurance.

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COBRA Eligibility

Health Insurance Options Between Jobs

Finding yourself between jobs requires obtaining health insurance to protect against high medical costs. Carefully consider your choices to make an informed decision during this transitional period.

For more guidance on COBRA health insurance and alternative health insurance, refer to our guide, “When To Choose COBRA, When To Choose An Alternative.” Your health and well-being matter to us, and we’re here to assist you in finding the best coverage. Don’t hesitate to reach out for any questions or further assistance.

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Your Federal COBRA Benefits

Your COBRA benefits allow you to continue using your most recent work-based health insurance. The employer that makes this plan available is responsible for enrollment, premium payments, the status of coverage and cancellations.

Are You Looking For Your Plan Administrator?

Here’s a list of the most common COBRA administrators that companies may use. If you still are unsure, contact the employer’s Human Resources Department that provided your most recent employer health insurance. They will be able to point you in the right direction.

How Much Is It?

The cost of COBRA coverage can range from $400 to 700 per month, per individual. When you were employed, your employer likely subsidized a portion of the cost of your health insurance premiums. When you choose to continue your health insurance coverage through COBRA, you will be responsible for paying the full premium yourself. As a result, the premiums for COBRA coverage are generally higher than what you were paying while you were employed.

Applying For COBRA Health Insurance

When your job health insurance stops, you are allowed a special open enrollment period to select new health insurance. One option is to choose COBRA.

If you lose your job or your work insurance ends, your employer must offer you COBRA. You will be sent a notification within 45 days to continue your employer coverage

You have 60 days to respond to the election notice and apply for COBRA. This special enrollment allows you to continue the same medical policy you had while you were employed.

Is COBRA Coverage Retroactive? Yes, it is.

COBRA coverage is retroactive. This means it covers medical expenses that happened after your old coverage ended, but before COBRA began. If you have any medical expenses during this period, it’s important to keep your hospital and clinic receipts and statements.

Once you pay your premium, you will be reimbursed for those backdated expenses. In other words, your COBRA coverage will be effective from the date that you lost your previous coverage.

How Long Does COBRA Insurance Last?

Under COBRA, you can generally continue your employer-sponsored health insurance for a limited time, typically 18 to 36 months. The specific length of your COBRA coverage will depend on the qualifying event.

COBRA is a temporary solution. You will need to find other health insurance coverage once your COBRA insurance period runs out.

Canceling A COBRA Plan

To cancel COBRA benefits, the primary beneficiary must notify the plan administrator in writing that they wish to terminate the plan.

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*Based on age and state availability

Availability of Mini-COBRA in Select States

In many states, businesses with a workforce of 19 or fewer employees are obligated to offer continued health insurance coverage to former employees, similar to the federal COBRA regulations. Please be aware that the deadlines and time frames for making a decision about coverage may differ based on state laws.
To gain a comprehensive understanding of your options, refer to the COBRA and state-specific laws, state-by-state guide section.

Are You Eligible For COBRA?

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