When should you elect COBRA Insurance?

COBRA is great if you have pre-existing conditions, see doctors often or take prescription medication.

Health Insurance Alternatives To COBRA

Depending on your situation, continuing former work health coverage may be unavailable or too expensive. As an alternative coverage option, people often choose private health insurance to remain insured.

Employers Must Offer COBRA

The federal COBRA law gives workers and their families the right to continue their employer-provided health insurance when it would otherwise end due to a qualifying life event. An example qualifying event is losing your job.

Under COBRA, you can maintain your traditional major medical plan and keep your existing doctors and clinics. Employees of companies with 20 or more full-time members will qualify for a special enrollment period to maintain their work health plan. You have 60 days to enroll.

curly haired man thinking about insurance

COBRA Eligibility

When To Choose COBRA For Health Insurance

Here are some reasons you might consider choosing COBRA during your special open enrollment period:

  • You have had comprehensive benefits and are willing to pay a higher premium for continued coverage.
  • You want guaranteed coverage, even if it comes at a higher cost.
  • You have had recent or ongoing health problems.
  • You are taking expensive medications.
  • You have been declined for private insurance recently.
  • You have a history of medical issues.
  • You have had an accident within the 60-day enrollment window.
  • You are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
  • You have taken a new job and your employer does not offer a health plan.

When To Choose A COBRA Alternative

  • COBRA is not available or too expensive for you.
  • You need coverage to bridge a short gap until your next major medical plan.
  • You do not have any pre-existing conditions.
  • You want continuous coverage at a lower cost.
  • You have not had any health problems.
  • You have not received any recommendations from medical professionals for future medical procedures.
  • You are not pregnant or planning to become pregnant in the near future.
Man considering buying short-term medical insurance


COBRA Is Expensive

COBRA insurance costs an average of $400 – $800 per month per person for continued access to an employer’s group health plan. If you are looking to save money, consider a temporary health plan.

COBRA or Marketplace Health Insurance?

If you need Obamacare style of insurance that covers preexisting conditions and prescription medication, choosing COBRA will give you that. With COBRA, the deductibles you’ve paid in won’t change.

Obamacare As An Alternative

Losing your employer’s health insurance is a qualifying event. ew major medical plan, you may find health insurance marketplace plans on or off the health insurance exchanges.

Short Term Medical Insurance

An alternative to continuing on COBRA is a temporary short-term health insurance plan. This type of insurance can fill gaps until your next major medical plan begins.

Short-Term Health Insurance plans  provide a high level of care for new illnesses and accidents and flexible in term length. This type of insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions.

Who Is Entitled To COBRA Benefits?

Any employee that has been enrolled in a company’s group health plan for 1 day qualifies for COBRA. When an employee signs up for workplace insurance, they must be notified of their COBRA rights to continue on that health plan if that insurance would end. COBRA must be available to all qualified beneficiaries of the plan.

A qualified beneficiary is a health insurance plan dependent, such as spouses and children. As an example, if the covered employee dies, the spouse and other covered dependents shall be given the option to continue the same health insurance they had.

Your COBRA benefits are the same that you had when you were employed.

Healthcare Sharing Ministry Plans Are Not Good Alternatives

Healthcare sharing plans (HCSPs) may seem affordable, but it’s important to be aware of their limitations. Unlike insurance, HCSPs are not regulated by any state and are not approved by the federal Healthcare Marketplace. Instead, your monthly payment goes into an escrow account that members can request reimbursement from for medical expenses.

It’s essential to review the details, as requests for reimbursement may be declined depending on the HCSM’s morals. The plan may not cover reimbursement for injuries that occurred while drinking at a bar. Furthermore, treatments for sexually transmitted diseases may not be covered for people who are not married.

It’s important to note that HCSPs are not recommended as an alternative to COBRA for covering lapses in insurance coverage.

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