If I leave my current employer my insurance coverage will remain until May 31st. I would like to get COBRA coverage as of June 1st to not have any gaps in coverage. How would I go about getting COBRA insurance?
COBRA is a federal law. Not an insurance company or a particular plan. The term “COBRA insurance” refers to the same workplace health insurance you had, except the employer is no longer subsidizing a portion of it. You restart your work health insurance by responding to an election notification you will be sent. Expect the COBRA premium to be a similar cost of major medical insurance, which averages $400 – $700/month, per individual.
What Are The Steps To Get COBRA Insurance?
In simple terms, this is how COBRA insurance works:
- Your employer work health insurance ended due to a qualifying event
- Within 45 days of the qualifying event, the employer sends you an election notice to restart your workplace insurance
- Within 60 days of the election notice, you may choose to enroll back into your health plan where the coverage will pick up back up after making your first premium payment
- Your copays, coinsurance, deductibles, out-of-pocket expenses and insurance cards for the year stay the same
- You have 45 days to make your first COBRA premium payment
- The coverage is retroactive and any medical expenses you incur before the COBRA plan starts may be submitted for reimbursement
Employer Election Notice Of COBRA Must Be Sent Within 45 Days
Applying for COBRA continuation of previous health benefits begins with the employer who sponsored the insurance to notify you. The employer has 30 days to notify the group health plan of the qualifying event. After that, the employer has 14 days to notify you of your COBRA right to keep your work health insurance. In total, the employer has within 45 days to send the COBRA election notice to continue your health plan.
You Have 60 Days To Sign Up For COBRA
Once you receive your COBRA enrollment forms from your previous employer, you have 60 days to send back the election form. If you have questions regarding the application, you’ll want to reach out to the employer’s human resources department and ask for the COBRA Administrator.
Your COBRA coverage is retroactive to the date of your job loss (or when the former insurance would have ended). As long as you submit the enrollment papers and premium payments, there will not be a lapse or gap in your coverage. These legal rights are made possible by the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, otherwise known as COBRA.
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We are COBRAinsurance.com — a private health insurance company, established in 2001, that publishes online information on how the federal COBRA law works. We also provide an alternative to COBRA if it is unavailable or you simply can not afford it. You can remain insured and have health coverage for new illnesses or injuries with Short-Term Medical Insurance
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When The Employer Fails To Send COBRA Application Paperwork
If you haven’t received your COBRA election paperwork, it’s advised to contact the employer from where the insurance was from. You’ll want to ask for the companies COBRA administrator. Typically, this is someone in the HR Department.
There are penalties for businesses that do not comply with the law. If you are hitting a brick wall with getting your COBRA election form, you may file a complaint with the Department of Labor at 1-866-487-2365.
What Makes Me Eligible To Enroll?
Certain qualifying workplace events qualify you for COBRA, such as quitting your job, getting fired, becoming eligible for Medicare or being laid off. Family members also are eligible to receive the benefit as well, when someone no longer becomes a dependent. Find out more about what qualifies you for COBRA continuation insurance.
Find out if you qualify
How Do I Pay My Premium?
COBRA continuation insurance is the same health benefits plan you had when you were employed. You pay post-tax dollars for your health insurance. Each month, you pay your COBRA premium to the employer or Plan Administrator. Often times the Plan Administrator is in the Human Resources department or they may have a third party administrator (like ADP or WageWorks) to handle premium payments.
If the COBRA plan is managed by a third-party administrator, you may have the opportunity to create an online account to manage your plan.
The State You Live In May Have Mini-COBRA
Check the laws in the state you live in. Where the federal government’s COBRA Act requires businesses with 20 or more employees, some states have Mini-COBRA laws governing continuing medical insurance legislation. Most of them require small businesses, those with 19 or fewer employees, to provide access to the worker’s existing health insurance.