What is Cobra Insurance?
Big companies in the United States that have 50 or more full-time workers, have to provide health insurance. If an employee is ineligible for health insurance benefits, for example, if they are under the earning threshold, then the employer may make the decision to stop paying their share of the premium. In instances such as this, COBRA gives an employee the chance to keep the same coverage for a short period of time, if they are happy to pay for it by themselves.
How Do You Qualify for Cobra Insurance?
If you are an employee, then you will qualify for this kind of cover if you have a voluntary or involuntary loss of your job. You may also notice a decrease in the number of hours of employment, meaning that your employer reduces your insurance eligibility. Spouses can also qualify for COBRA coverage if the covered employee has Medicare. If the covered employee was to pass away, then they would also be covered. Qualifying events for dependents are usually the same as the spouse.
How Does Cobra Insurance Work?
If you are eligible for COBRA insurance coverage, then your employer will tell the insurance company within 30 days of you leaving your position. You will then have 60 days in which to sign up. With COBRA, it is possible for you to use your health insurance plan, just like you did when you were employed. You will however, have the responsibility of covering the cost without any employer aid. You can then keep this for 18 months.
What Does It Cover?
The great thing about COBRA is that it covers you for whatever your original health plan did. It doesn’t cover voluntary coverage, supplemental coverage, or hospital care cover, however.
Is It Expensive?
Under your original plan, you only had to pay a contribution to the insurance cover. When you move under COBRA, your employer will not be making their payments and the responsibility will fall to you. The end result means you’re paying more even though your coverage is staying the same.
Is It Right for You?
COBRA comes with many pros and cons. Upon leaving your position, you can keep your same health coverage. That being said, the price will rise. By going under COBRA coverage, you can see the same doctor and take advantage of the same health benefits.
Cobra Vs. Individual Health Insurance? Which is Better?
You do have the option of taking out an individual health plan. An individual plan is one you can take out through your broker or your carrier. Depending on your income, you may qualify for a discount, which may mean you end up getting a cheaper policy. Assessing your options is always the best way for you to ensure that you are going to be getting the best result out of your healthcare insurance policy and that you get your money’s worth. If you need extra support, chatting with an insurance advisor is usually the way to go, so be mindful of this if you can.
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