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. The term “COBRA insurance” refers to the same workplace health insurance you had, but now are paying the full premium.

Applying for COBRA continuation of previous health benefits begins with the employer who sponsored the insurance to notify you. When your insurance stops, the employer has 14 days to notify you of your COBRA right to keep your work health insurance.

COBRA Election Form

During the 14 day period after your insurance stops, the employer is compelled by law to provide you paperwork by mail to elect COBRA coverage. Your COBRA coverage is the same health insurance you had when you were employed. 

When The Employer Fails To Send COBRA Application Paperwork

If you haven’t received your COBRA 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.  

You Have 60 Days To Sign Up For COBRA

Once you receive your COBRA application 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.

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


COBRA Eligibility


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

Short-term medical insurance is alternative health coverage if COBRA is not available, cannot afford it or simple want to save money. These plans do not cover preexisting conditions. After coinsurance and deductibles, plans have up to $1 million in coverage.

Call For Advice: 1-877-262-7241

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