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What does COBRA do?
COBRA provides certain former employees, retirees, spouses, former spouses, and dependent children the right to temporary continuation of health coverage at group rates. This coverage, however, is only available when coverage is lost due to certain specific events. Group health coverage for COBRA participants is usually more expensive than health coverage for active employees, since usually the employer pays a part of the premium for active employees while COBRA participants generally pay the entire premium themselves. It is ordinarily less expensive, though, than individual health coverage.

 

COBRA Insurance - Cobra Health Insurance Alternatives

What is COBRA Insurance?  Although COBRA insurance is a very common term, it is NOT insurance - It is an Act.  In 1986, Congress passed the COBRA Act that contains provisions giving certain former employees, retirees, spouses and dependent children the right to temporarily continue their current health coverage at group rates. This coverage, however, is only available in specific instances.  If your employer drops group coverage entirely, unfortunately, COBRA coverage will not be available. Read More.  

GET A QUOTE - Health Insurance for 30 Days to 6 or 12 Months

Did you know that there are alternatives to COBRA Insurance benefits?  Short term health insurance can cost as little as 1/3 the cost of COBRA Insurance.  If your healthy, you and your family may be eligibleGet More Information and an Online Quote Cobra Insurance Alternative Quote
The cost to continue your group health insurance coverage after job loss, layoff or a reduction in hours can be costly.  The national average cost of employer provided family health coverage under COBRA is over $1,200 per month.  If you are among the 81 percent of people eligible for COBRA but elect not to take it due to the cost, don’t risk going without health insurance.  Affordable alternatives (Short Term Health Insurance) are available in every states except MA, NJ, NY and VT.   Short term health insurance plans do not cover pre-existing conditions or routine wellness exams - but, if your healthy it may be a good choice.  Get an Instant Online Quote for an alternative to COBRA insurance.

Who is entitled to benefits under COBRA?

There are three elements to qualifying for COBRA benefits.  COBRA establishes specific criteria for plans, qualified beneficiaries, and qualifying events:

Plan Coverage - Group health plans for employers with 20 or more employees on more than 50 percent of its typical business days in the previous calendar year are subject to COBRA.  Both full and part-time employees are counted to determine whether a plan is subject to COBRA.  Each part-time employee counts as a fraction of an employee, with the fraction equal to the number of hours that the part-time employee worked divided by the hours an employee must work to be considered full time.

Qualified Beneficiaries - A qualified beneficiary generally is an individual covered by a group health plan on the day before a qualifying event who is either an employee, the employee's spouse, or an employee's dependent child.  In certain cases, a retired employee, the retired employee's spouse, and the retired employee's dependent children may be qualified beneficiaries.  In addition, any child born to or placed for adoption with a covered employee during the period of COBRA coverage is considered a qualified beneficiary.  Agents, independent contractors, and directors who participate in the group health plan may also be qualified beneficiaries. Learn more about who is entitled to benefits.

If I elect COBRA, how much do I pay?

When you were an active employee, your employer may have paid all or part of your group health premiums.  Under COBRA, as a former employee no longer receiving benefits, you will usually pay the entire premium amount, that is, the portion of the premium that you paid as an active employee and the amount of the contribution made by your employer.  In addition, there may be a 2 percent administrative fee.

While COBRA rates may seem high, you will be paying group premium rates, which depending on the risk pool, can be more or less than individual rates.

Since it is likely that there will be a lapse of a month or more between the date of layoff and the time you make the COBRA election decision, you may have to pay health premiums retroactively-from the time of separation from the company.  The first premium, for instance, will cover the entire time since your last day of employment with your former employer.

You should also be aware that it is your responsibility to pay for COBRA coverage even if you do not receive a monthly statement.

Although they are not required to do so, some employers may subsidize COBRA coverage. Get a quote on an alternative medical plan by visiting the Short Term Health Insurance section of this site.

NOTE: If you have questions on your COBRA health or dental insurance, please contact the human resources department of the company you previously worked for.

 
For More Information on Alternatives, Contact: Long Term Consumer Care, Inc
Toll Free: (800) 544-9505
 
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