Can I Get COBRA If I Quit?
If I resign from my job voluntarily, will I qualify for COBRA health insurance?
You Can Get COBRA Insurance After You Quit Your Job
COBRA, or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, is a law that requires employers with 20 or more employees to allow workers to continue their group health insurance coverage if it would otherwise end due to a qualifying event, such as quitting their job, being laid off, or getting fired.
If you have lost your health insurance coverage for any of these reasons, you may be eligible for COBRA insurance, which allows you to continue with the same employer-sponsored group health plan that you had before.
How To Get COBRA After Losing Your Job
You obtain COBRA from the employer that provided your most recent job-based health insurance. Here are the two steps for starting COBRA continuation of health insurance.
- Your former employer has up 45 days to send your COBRA continuing coverage election paperwork. This packet of information will give you the cost of your COBRA plan, how to enroll and where to make your premium payments.
- The law requires your former employer to give you a 60 day open enrollment period to choose to continue your current work health plan or waive COBRA coverage.
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How Long Does COBRA Insurance Last After You Quit?
Regardless if you quit, get fired, were layed off or retire you have the right to continue the employer’s group health insurance for up to 18 months. You will coordinate this benefit with the human resources department of the employer or their third-party administrator.
Depending on your circumstances you or your qualified dependents may be eligible for up to 36 months of continuing coverage.
When Does Coverage Begin?
Your COBRA insurance will start immediately after making your first premium payment. Once you elect to continue the employer group health plan, your benefits will be retroactive to the date your coverage would otherwise have stopped. If you have out-of-pocket expenses between the time the coverage stopped and then started, you may be reimbursed by your carrier.
You Now Pay The Full Insurance Premium
The average premium for COBRA in the United States is $438/month, per individual. This is the portion you were paying by payroll deduction and what the employer had subsidized as a benefit.
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Workplace Qualifying Events
There are three types of qualifying events in the workplace that would make you eligible for COBRA insurance, they are:
- Voluntary Termination or Quit Your Job
- Involuntary Termination, Layoff or Fired
Gross Misconduct Does Not Qualify You For COBRA
In the event that your termination reason was due to gross misconduct, the employer does not have to offer insurance continuation.
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*Eligibility for short term medical insurance is based on age and state availability.