It can be difficult to maintain the same lifestyle when one loses their financial stability. But the good news is that for recently laid off Americans, health insurance can be reinstated through COBRA insurance. COBRA stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, passed by Congress in 1986. It is not a health insurance plan per se, but a law that covers you and your family in the event of being let go from your job.
Cobra insurance covers people with pre-existing medical conditions, who otherwise would not be eligible for a new health insurance plan. It provides the following benefits to a departing employee, such as:
- Temporarily continue your employer-sponsored health benefits;
- Being covered regardless of your pre-existing health conditions.
Cobra insurance is provided to employees and their spouses, certain employee’s dependents, and retirees and their dependents. However, as an employee, you can be covered only if you participated in your employer-sponsored health plan. Through Cobra Insurance, you have the option to opt for coverage only for yourself, for your immediate family, or only for your dependents. Companies are obligated to offer Cobra only on the following grounds:
- If they provide an employer-sponsored health insurance plan, and;
- If they have a minimum of 20 employees
Cobra health insurance coverage commences on the date your health care protection ended due to a qualifying event. It usually culminates at the end of the maximum period or may be terminated earlier. Failure to pay the premium on a timely basis is one ground that causes early termination of coverage. Another is when your employer cancels any group health plan. With Cobra health insurance, you may have to pay up to 102% of the premium on your own. It is important to consider applying for Cobra protection especially if you have any of these conditions:
- Pre-existing medical problem;
- Ineligible for private health insurance, or
- You or any of your family members are currently pregnant.
With Cobra health insurance, you will receive the same level of coverage as if you were still employed. If the employer decides to cancel or reduce the coverage of existing employees, yours will also get affected. Cobra health insurance tends to be slightly more expensive than a group plan. As this insurance is optional, you may consider other comparable health insurance plan that suits your budget. Many health insurance companies offer temporary coverage with low co-pays and deductibles.
If you have questions regarding Cobra insurance, let Blue Sky Coverage help you find affordable health insurance for you and your family. Call us today to get a quote for Cobra health insurance.