Understanding COBRA Insurance – Not Many Do…

 

Don’t go into heart failure if you just lost your job. There is a
law that makes you eligible to keep your medical coverage while you
look for work. The federal COBRA law makes you eligible for
continual health coverage for those already covered on your
insurance. This is very important to make sure that people who are
just divorced or have had a death in the providing family member
have the bridge coverage they need. When either leaving a job or
being let go from it, you are eligible to keep receiving benefits
from your employers plan for 18 months by paying the premium
yourself, That amount would otherwise have been deducted from your
paycheck. The COBRA law is only for work related insurances,
personal plans are not covered. Anyone who was working and had
medical coverage at the time of being dismissed or leaving is by
law required to be offered the option to hold onto their benefits
at their own expense till the allotted time runs out of they have
new coverage, which ever comes first.

There are three groups of people eligible for COBRA coverage;
employees or former employees in private business, there spouses,
and dependent children. You may get COBRA coverage for the maximum
period determined by your status. You don’t have to take it at all
if you don’t need or want it. State and local government workers
are also eligible as well as classified and independent
contractors
. The only people who are exempt are federal employees
in Washington D.C., certain church-related persons, and firms with
less than 20 employees. But even in the cases where there are not
enough employees there could be eligibility. Some states have
mini-COBRA laws for small places to help out those types of
employees. The coverage will continue for all persons listed on the
original policy and any added dependents during the allotted time
frame.

To be eligible at all for COBRA you have to be covered under an
employer health plan. If you don’t already have medical benefits
you won’t qualify for this extended coverage. COBRA isn’t a health
care plan
of its own; it is only a law that protects workers from
losing all insurance when leaving their employer. All jobs will
send you the information you need to keep or deny this extended
coverage
. You may or may not be given pricing information and might
want to call the human resource department to find out or the
insurance company itself. Your COBRA coverage will end when you
reach the last day of maximum coverage, you stop paying the
premium, the employer stops providing coverage to employees or goes
out of business, or you get new coverage somewhere else, either
through work or privately. The plans that are eligible for extended
coverage on these types of medical coverage; medical plans, dental,
prescription, and vision plans, drug and alcohol treatment
programs
, and psychological treatment.

Paying for COBRA is a personal responsibility to the individual. If
you can’t afford it you might have to pass and not be covered. The
premiums can be very costly for people and even more than when the
person was employed. Employers get a fixed rate based on the number
of employees they have enrolled. The more employees they have
enrolled the cheaper the premiums for all employees. A person on
COBRA doesn’t qualify as an employee and will be seen as a private
insurer through the company. You will receive the exact same
benefits you had when you were working for your job. An employer
should advise you on all COBRA possibilities, and not just the
cheapest or most expensive. If you had more than one plan then you
have the right to elect continuing coverage in any or all of them.
If your former employer changes its health insurance plan for its
current employees, you are entitled to receive benefits under the
new plan as well, although the benefits you get may change. If your
employer switches plans, you won’t be able to keep the old plan,
you will have to choose to go to the new plan or drop coverage.

DISCLAIMER: This information is for educational and informational
purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for
professional advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed Insurance
Agent or Broker with any questions you may have regarding any
Insurance Matter.

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