Understanding COBRA Coverage in Washington State
The state of Washington follows the federal COBRA law, which provides workers and their dependents the right to continue their employer-sponsored health coverage for a limited period of time after experiencing a qualifying event, such as job loss or reduction in work hours.
COBRA coverage can help individuals and families maintain their health insurance during times of transition, but it is important to note that it can be costly as the individual will be responsible for paying the full premium, including the portion previously paid by the employer.
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Continuing Health Insurance Coverage In Washington
$400 – 700/month per individual
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Continuing Health Coverage In Washington
If you experience a job loss or reduction in work hours, it is important to understand the options available for continuing health insurance coverage. In Washington State, federal COBRA rights allow workers and their dependents the right to continue their employer-sponsored health coverage for a limited period of time after experiencing a qualifying event.
While COBRA coverage can provide a valuable safety net for you while in transition, it is important to note that it can be expensive. Individuals who elect to continue their coverage will be responsible for paying the full premium, including the portion previously paid by the employer.
Fortunately, there are alternative options available to those seeking affordable health insurance coverage. For example, individuals may be eligible for Medicaid, which provides health insurance to those with limited income and resources. Additionally, the Affordable Care Act marketplace offers a range of health insurance plans with varying levels of coverage and cost.
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Getting Coverage For Pre-Existing Conditions In Washington State
In Washington state, individuals who lose their job and their employer-sponsored health insurance coverage may have options for continuing their health insurance coverage. One option is COBRA coverage, which provides continuation of the same group health insurance policy that was offered by their employer for a limited period of time. The individual will be responsible for paying the full premium, including the portion previously paid by the employer.
Another option is enrolling in a Marketplace health insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. This can be a more affordable alternative to COBRA coverage, as individuals may qualify for premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions based on their income and family size. Marketplace plans offer a range of coverage options, including different levels of deductibles, copays, and out-of-pocket maximums, allowing individuals to choose a plan that meets their unique healthcare needs and budget.
Marketplace / Obamacare
Sometimes state and federal subsidies help offset the premium for individual marketplace insurance.
A loss of work health insurance is a qualifying event to find new healthcare through the public healthcare exchange.
In 2023, the average ACA health plan premium in Washington is $382/month per individual, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
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Apply For COBRA
Employer Has 20+ Employees
As an employee, you may continue your most recent work health insurance for up to 18 months. Family members may access the plan for up to 36 months.
You sign up for COBRA with your former employer or their third party.
The premium will be $400 – 700 / month, per insured person.
After your workplace insurance ends, you’ll sign up for Medicare within 8 months.
In general, you can sign up for Part A and Part B starting three months before your 65th birthday and ending three months after your 65th birthday.
Learn more about Medicare deadlines and how Medicare Advantage plans can replace original Medicare at no cost to you.
COBRA Is Available In All 50 States
Employee continuation of health insurance coverage is not required in all states. When a state lacks laws governing the continuation of work-related medical benefits, the federal COBRA Act protects these rights. Find out more about your state.