American Rescue Plan Act of 2021’s COBRA Subsidy Ends September 31. What’s next?

How Do I Apply For COBRA Insurance?

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?

Your COBRA Plan Administrator Has Up To 14 Days To Send A COBRA Enrollment Form

COBRA is a federal law. Not a company.

Applying for COBRA continuation of previous health benefits begins with the employer who sponsored the insurance to notify you. When signing up for COBRA Health Insurance, you are enrolling into the same health plan you had previously.

When a qualifying event happens and you lose employer-sponsored insurance program, a special open enrollment period triggers. The employer who provided that group health plan is required to provide you paperwork to elect COBRA coverage within 14 days (during the National Covid-19 Pandemic) that your insurance would end. Your COBRA coverage is the same health insurance you had when you were employed. You have 60 days to elect COBRA continuation.

Signing Up For COBRA

Once you receive your COBRA application forms from your previous employer, you will want to send them back quickly to not miss a beat in your health coverage. 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.

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.

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 now to the 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.

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.

 

COBRA Is Expensive

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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Short-Term Health Insurance is popular and available in most states to cover gaps between major medical plans.

These plans also cover COVID-19 hospitalization. After deductibles and coinsurance, many plans will have $1 million in coverage.


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