When should you elect COBRA Insurance?

The COBRA Act of 1985 is a federal law that allows workers and their families the right to keep their employer’s health insurance if that insurance would end due to job loss or changes within the covered beneficiaries family. With COBRA, you may continue your traditional major medical plan and keep the same doctors and clinics.

When COBRA is not available or is cost prohibitive, many people will look toward Short Term Medical insurance as an alternative way to remain insured.

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COBRA Eligibility

When To Choose COBRA For Health Insurance

  • Have had comprehensive benefits and don’t mind paying a higher premium.
  • Want continual, guaranteed coverage at a higher cost.
  • Have had recent health problems.
  • Have had ongoing health problems.
  • Are taking expensive medications.
  • Have been declined for private insurance recently.
  • Have a history of medical problems.
  • Have had an accident within the 60 day window of enrollment.
  • Are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
  • Got a job and your new employer does not offer a health plan.

When To Choose An Alternative To COBRA Coverage

  • Have no pre-existing conditions.
  • Want continual coverage at a lower cost.
  • Have had no health problems.
  • Have not received any advice from medical professionals advising you to undergo a medical procedure in the future.
  • You are not pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant soon.

Alternative Health Insurance Choices

If you do not elect COBRA, you have a few choices to stay insured:

  • Get a Major Medical plan on healthcare.gov – costs are similar to COBRA
  • Short-Term Medical or “gap insurance” – costs are affordable and predictable

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The COBRA Insurance website helps workers with their insurance options while in-between employers. If you have questions about choosing COBRA, please call our HealthCare.gov Certified Insurance Specialists.

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 benefits. When an employee signs up for workplace insurance, you must notify them of their COBRA rights to continuation if that insurance would end. You must make the option 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.

Costs Of COBRA For Health Insurance Continuation

The cost of COBRA has long been a concern for individuals and families. After a qualifying event, such as quitting a job, getting laid off or a change in dependent status, many families have to adjust budgets to make ends meet.

Having major medical health insurance is an Affordable Care Act requirement of all Americans.  When you elect to continue your workplace insurance on COBRA, you pay the full premium. This may cost around $400/per month or more, per individual.

Alternatives To COBRA

When you’re facing a loss of medical coverage due to temporary gaps in employment or other factors, continuing with COBRA for medical insurance could initially seem like the right choice to protect your health. Quite often people are surprised at the cost of COBRA.

 

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. Depending on your age and the state you live in, these plans are affordable and may be as low as $80/month.

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

Weigh out these financial and medical reasons when choosing between COBRA and alternative health insurance.

Major Medical Health Insurance On HealthCare.gov

If you visit the doctor often or take prescription medication for a pre-existing condition, then continuing on COBRA would allow you to pick up your work health insurance where it left off. You’ll keep the same doctors and clinics you had before.   

An employer’s health insurance is an Affordable Care Act certified, traditional health plan. If you need full coverage of a major medical plan with access to prescription drug coverage, you may substitute COBRA with a new insurance plan from the healthcare marketplace. 

Affordable COBRA Alternatives

Short-Term Health Insurance is an affordable option while workers are in between jobs. These plans provide coverage for new and emergent care issues. Additionally, you do not have to wait until the first of the month start these plans.

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COBRA continuation can be very expensive. Talk about your options with our licensed call center. We are ready to help!
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Health Care Sharing Ministry Plans Are Not Insurance

The affordability of health care sharing plans (HCSPs) quite often overshadows their downsides. First, these plans are not insurance. They are not regulated by any states.

Your monthly payment goes into an escrow account for all members. You request reimbursement for medical expenses.

Second, you need to read the fine print. Your claims for reimbursement may be denied based on the sharing group’s value system. If an injury occurs while you are drinking at a bar, some plans won’t pay out. Most of them will not treat new STDs for members that are not married.

It’s important for you to know that these are not federal Healthcare Marketplace approved plans. They are not recommended as an alternative to COBRA to cover lapses in insurance coverage.

Is COBRA Right For Me? Get Expert Advice.

The COBRA Insurance website helps workers with their insurance options while in-between employers. If you have questions about choosing COBRA, please call our HealthCare.gov Certified Insurance Specialists.

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*Eligibility for short term medical insurance is based on age and state availability.

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Short-Term Health Insurance is popular and available in most states to cover gaps between major medical plans.

These plans also cover COVID-19 hospitalization.
After deductibles and coinsurance, many plans will have $1 million in coverage.

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