Under the COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) federal law Kansas residents can continue, subject to duration limits, health coverage from a prior employer. The Federal COBRA Act allows retiring employees, or those who lose coverage due to quitting a job, involuntary termination or reduced work hours, to continue group coverage for a limited period of time.
Federal COBRA also applies to their dependents who lose coverage because of divorce or legal separation; death of the covered employee; the covered employee qualifying for Medicare; or a loss of dependent status under the health plan’s provisions.
COBRA Applies Only To Employers With 20 Or More Employees
If you qualify for COBRA benefits, your health-plan administrator must give you a notice stating your right to choose to continue benefits provided by the plan. You then have 60 days to accept coverage or lose all rights to the benefits. Once you select COBRA coverage, you may have to pay 100 percent of the total insurance cost, plus a two percent processing fee.
Kansas Has A Mini-COBRA Law
The state has a mini-COBRA law that works alongside the Federal COBRA Act. The Kansas Continuing Insurance Coverage law extends to workers who’d employer has 19 or fewer employees.
Who Pays For COBRA Insurance?
While employees are guaranteed the right to the same health care coverage they previously had, they are required to pay for all of it out of their own pocket. Their former employer is not required to subsidize the payments. Employers often cover a substantial portion of health insurance premiums, so COBRA coverage can be expensive.
COBRA Coverage can also be made available to an employee’s family members, sometimes for up to 36 months. COBRA is not available for individual health care plans that are purchased outside of a group plan through an employer or an association. If you lose individual health care coverage, there are no COBRA laws that require an extension.
COBRA stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, and is a federal law which helps employees maintain health care coverage when they would otherwise lose it from a “qualifying life event,” including resigning from a job or filing for unemployment.
Should you elect for COBRA Coverage?
This is a very personal decision. While COBRA can be very expensive (sometimes prohibitively expensive), it will allow you to keep the same group health care coverage as you had while you were with your employer. COBRA also extends to spouses and dependents in events such as a divorce or the death of an employed spouse. This may be their only way to maintain coverage.
What are your options?
- Contact your previous employer and ask him/her to give you your COBRA papers so that you may see how much it is to continue your health insurance through the group plan.
- Shop for temporary health insurance: if you do not have preexisting conditions and need temporary coverage for 1-6 months then temporary health insurance is a great solution and you will find that it is extremely affordable.
- If you have preexisting conditions or pregnant you should try to get on another group plan (or pay for COBRA) as quick as you can or contact your local insurance state department to see what they have available for you. Many states have a guaranteed issue health insurance plan for individuals who cannot secure coverage through a private health insurer.
Affordable Temporary Health Insurance
If you are fairly healthy and still want to remain insured, alternatives to COBRA insurance may be available based on where you live. Short-term health insurance is a popular option and available in most States. This can protect you from high medical costs of new injuries or new illnesses that unexpectedly occur while allowing you to use any licensed doctor. Coverage is available up to $1 million per person. For more information and pricing, you can call us at 1-877-262-7241 or complete a free quote online.