What is cobra insurance? Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act which is the acronym of Cobra insurance provides users. With temporary health coverage after you leave a job or due to another event that qualifies you. It gives individuals who experience a job loss or other qualifying event. The option to continue their current health insurance coverage for a limited amount of time.
However, cobra health coverage can be used only in certain situations. And these situations are called qualifying events. Cobra insurance may last for 18 or 36 months but it depends on the type of qualifying event that made you eligible for cobra. Also, your cobra insurance cost may be terminated if you don’t pay your premiums or other fees for coverage.
How Does Cobra Insurance Work
Cobra medical insurance extends your health plan coverage when an employer’s plan ends. Cobra coverage gives you up to 60 days to decide whether you want to continue your health coverage under cobra. And if you fail to decide, your health coverage will end on the day that your employer’s plan coverage ended. Your employer or insurance carrier will enlighten you on cobra continuation coverage. And they are also to include cobra rights information in your plan documents when you enroll at first. In addition, if you decide to continue coverage under cobra it will start the day after your employer’s plan coverage ends. It will offer exactly the same benefits you had under your employer’s group plan.
How do you Qualify for Cobra Insurance
Like I said earlier cobra health coverage can be used in certain situations. So how do you know you are eligible. Let’s take a look at your eligibility.
- As an employee: you must have been employed and covered under an employers group health plan. You must also must have been laid off, fired, retired or had your work hours cut to the point that your employers are no longer required to cover you under a group health plan.
- As a dependent: if you are a dependent of someone who qualifies for cobra based on the above then you may be eligible. If you are also a spouse who divorces or files for legal separation from the employee you may also be qualified. A spouse of an employee who dies may also be eligible.
Just in case you are not sure whether you meet the cobra eligibility requirements. You can contact your employers’ human resources department. Or contact the insurance carrier for the health plan. Also, to get the most out of your cobra insurance you must make sure you read the details of your plan.
How to Sign Up for Cobra Insurance
It is necessary for you to first give notice to the employer of the qualifying event before you sign up. For instance, if the qualifying event is the death of the employee, it means that the employer already has a notice. Regardless of the event within 45 days of the qualifying event, the employer will send you a cobra election form. You will have 60 days to review the election notice and provide a response. If you are satisfied, fill out the form and return the election form within the election period to enroll in cobra coverage. I hope this article was helpful.