I am leaving my current employer and will be eligible for group coverage within six weeks or so at my new job (1st of the month following a full month from start date). I just wanted to clarify one point: I know that I cannot continue COBRA if I am “covered” by a new group plan. If, however, I elect to decline coverage, do I lose COBRA?
You are able to elect COBRA and stay with that coverage plan, regardless of whether you are eligible for your new employer’s health benefits, but only for 18 months. Your new employer cannot terminate your COBRA coverage before 18 months. After 18 months, your previous employer is no longer required to extend their group health coverage to you. At that time, you could enroll with your new employer (which may only be available during open enrollment) or choose a plan individually.
What Makes You Eligible For COBRA
The federal COBRA law requires companies with 20 or more workers to provide healthcare benefits if that insurance would end due to a qualifying event. You only need to have received the group health insurance for 1 day to qualify. Read more about qualifying events for COBRA.
Keep in mind, you will be responsible for up to 102% of the premium with COBRA. If you want to look at alternative plans to COBRA, there are numerous plans available. Click href=”http://cobrainsurance.com/ here to get a quote, or call us at 1-877-279-7959 8am – 5pm CST and we can answer any other questions you may have.