Can I Get COBRA After A Long-Term Disability?

I am on long term disability through my school district’s LTD plan. I will not qualify for social security or full disability at the end of the 24 month LTD period. During this 24 month period I am receiving 80% salary, 100% of the district’s insurance package (with waived premiums) and I am under contract. At the end of the 24 month LTD period would I have any COBRA rights? While I know it would be expensive, I am fearful that I will be unable to find insurance.

COBRA is a federal law that requires employers with 20 or more employees to make available the same health insurance plan after you’ve voluntarily or involuntarily left your job or have had your work hours reduced. If you are terminated at the end of that 24 months, then YES, you will be eligible to elect COBRA for continuing health coverage. You are allowed to keep this insurance for 18 months.

COBRA Extension Due To Disability

Disability – If any one of the qualified beneficiaries in your family is disabled and meets certain requirements, all of the qualified beneficiaries receiving continuation coverage due to a single qualifying event are entitled to an 11-month extension of the maximum period of continuation coverage (for a total maximum period of 29 months of continuation coverage). The plan can charge qualified beneficiaries an increased premium, up to 150 percent of the cost of coverage, during the 11-month disability extension.

Or, Save Money With Short-Term Medical 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.

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