Can I Keep COBRA When My New Employer Offers Health Insurance?

I resigned from my job. I now have a temporary per diem position. This company does offer health insurance if I want it. Am I still eligible for COBRA?

You may not have COBRA continuation and another insurance at the same time

If your previous employer has more than 20 employees and you were on their group health policy, you would be eligible to keep your work insurance for 18 months after you stopped working there.  You may stay on COBRA as long as you do not obtain other insurance or become covered under your new employer’s health insurance.

The federal government’s COBRA law allows workers to continue on the same plan they had when they working. It is meant to bridge the gap, with the same health benefits, until the next comprehensive, major medical health plan is available.

Be careful though. When your COBRA insurance plan ends, you’ll have a special enrollment period to elect new insurance. Your new employer may not have an open enrollment period at that time. At that point, you would need to enroll in ACA certified major medical insurance on the marketplace.

How To Obtain New Health Insurance

  • Enroll in an employer-sponsored health plan through a full-time job.
  • Purchase a qualified health plan via health insurance marketplace.

Under the Affordable Care Act, businesses who employ 50 or more fulltime workers must provide health insurance to 95% of their employees. with 50 or more full-time employees (or the equivalent in part-time employees) must provide health insurance to 95% of their full-time employees. Those that do not face penalties from the IRS.

Health insurance marketplaces, both federal and private, have major medical plans available. These plans provide comprehensive coverage for surgical procedures and pre-existing conditions. Many provide a prescription medication benefit.

Open Enrollment Periods

You may only start a new traditional health insurance plan during an open enrollment period. The federal open enrollment periods begins in November. Employers will have special open enrollment periods for new employees and an annual open enrollment for all workers.

Cancelling COBRA

You may cancel COBRA at anytime by notifying your COBRA administrator in writing. 

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