Q: I will be losing group coverage on August 31st and have chosen to keep my insurance plan via COBRA for the month of September because I am due to have a baby in September and did not want to start a new deductible with my husbands group plan. I wanted to be added to my husband’s employer’s group plan starting October 1. Their benefits coordinator is telling me that since I am electing to terminate my COBRA coverage, that this does not count as a “qualifying event” for me to be added to their group plan, even though it still is within a 60 day time period. I thought I would be able to be added to their group plan because I have a 60 day waiting period to obtain other health insurance after the loss of coverage from my previous group plan. Any suggestions?
A: This is a bit of a gray area, BUT there are other options for you. There is no verbiage saying that once you elect a plan your special enrollment period ends, but even if the benefits coordinator won’t let you enroll during the 60 days after you lose your employer coverage, you will have a new special enrollment period starting the day your baby is born.
So at this point here are your options:
1.) Stay on COBRA until it runs out (typically 18 months).
This will be very expensive. COBRA premiums are the amount you paid as an employee, plus your employer’s contribution, PLUS up to a 2% administrative fee. You pay all of that with COBRA.
2.) Stay on COBRA until baby is born.
You will then have a brand new Special Enrollment Period (60 days) to obtain coverage. Usually a new child is a qualifying event for anything insurance related. Talk to your husband’s benefits coordinator around baby’s birth date. Or, call us. We can help you get an individual plan (1-877-279-7959).
3.) Stay on COBRA until Open Enrollment.
This can be annual public Open Enrollment (November 15, 2014-February 15, 2015) or until your husband’s employer’s Open Enrollment. If you begin looking for a family or individual plan that is not on your husband’s employer plan, we can help there too. Again, our number is 877-279-7959.