How Long Do You Have To Be Employed To Take Advantage Of COBRA?
How long do I have to be on my employer’s health plan to be able to take advantage of COBRA?
It only matters how long you’ve had health insurance through your employer. As long as you were enrolled in your employer’s group health plan you are then eligible for to keep the same health plan that you had. Regardless of how your job had ended. The continuation of health insurance coverage after job loss is a right granted through the federal COBRA law.
You’ll Pay The Full COBRA Premium
Keep in mind that when you continue on the same health insurance you had when you were employed, you are now responsible for the entire premium. This includes the amount that your employer contributed to that health plan. Many companies will outsource their COBRA Administration to a third-party administrator. Also known as TPAs, these businesses will enroll you back into the same plan and take your monthly payment. TPAs are allowed by law to add an additional 2% fee for their administration time.
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When Should You Choose COBRA
If you or a family member visits the doctor often or regularly takes prescription medicine, we highly recommend continuing on a COBRA plan. The group health insurance is a Qualified Health Plan per the Affordable Care Act. These plans are required to provide coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Some People Use GAP Insurance Until The Next Job With Health Coverage
Quite often people find the cost of COBRA coverage to be very expensive. Typically, a single person will pay $400-500 per month to keep that same work insurance. When continuing on your former employer’s health plan is cost prohibitive, many people will turn to temporary health insurance plans. These plans are affordable and the out of pocket expenses are predictable. Also known as Short-Term Medical Insurance, these plans only cover new conditions and illnesses.
COBRA Third-Party Administrators
Your COBRA plan may be managed by a third-party administrator. Many employers work with the following:
- ADP COBRA
- BASIC COBRA
- BAS' COBRA Control Services
- BenefitConnect EHR
- BenefitSolver COBRA
- Burnham & Flower
- BRI COBRA (Benefits Resource)
- bswift COBRA
- COBRAPoint Benaissance
- Employee Benefits Corp (EBC)
- Lifetime Benefit Solutions
- Navia Benefit Solutions
- Optum Financial
- Paycom COBRA
- Total Administrative Service Corporation (TASC)
- WageWorks / Conexis
- WEX (formerly Discovery Benefits)
If you are unsure who your plan administrator is, reach out to the human resources department of the company that provided the health insurance you had.
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