The American people have had some high unemployment figures in the last few years. High unemployment brings many people to face their insurance options when it comes to leaving their employer. There seems to be confusion about how COBRA works and what the options are. Insurance Medics is here to help! First off, your company generally has to have 20 employees or more to offer Cobra. Employees that have been laid off, terminated, or had their work hours involuntarily cut all qualify for COBRA. You have 60 days to decide if you want to continue your group insurance. Your new COBRA individual family plan health insurance will be exactly the same as your group insurance with one big difference – You will be fronting the bill plus a 2% administration fee! So:
What your employer used to pay
What used to be deducted from your check
2% Administration Fee
Your COBRA Premium
As wonderful as COBRA is, there are some down sides. A person who has just lost their income along with their job is most likely a little strapped for cash. COBRA can be very expensive, even if it is a high deductible health plan. You will be paying both your share and your employers share. One way to cut down on the expense is to shop around for your own individual family plan health insurance. Have any family members with pre existing conditions like diabetes or heart problems? Even if the primary insured (the employee) leaves the COBRA plan any family member with pre existing conditions may remain on the plan. It will probably be less costly for the other family members to be on a different policy. Also, there are other options besides a high deductible health plan and/or high health insurance premiums. Give us a call at Insurance Medics and we will be more than happy to find a plan that fits your needs and your budget. Wait until the 60th day to decide? Never a good idea, you want to give yourself adequate time to find the right plan and be underwritten and approved. You may keep the coverage for up to 18 months. Your former employer can cancel your COBRA coverage only if it drops group health insurance completely or goes out of business. If you move outside of your health plan coverage area, you effectively “lose” your benefits. Another reason it’s important to either keep COBRA or get an individual family plan is a “certificate of continuous coverage”. You are allowed a gap of no more than 63 days in order to have a certificate of continuous coverage. That’s important because if you are diagnosed with a serious illness or you are a woman who becomes pregnant your new employer can exclude any pre existing conditions.