If you have been laid-off or quit your job, you have likely received information about COBRA health insurance. While this may seem like just more paperwork, there are situations in which COBRA should be seriously considered. Here are the things you should know about COBRA and how it may help you and your family.
What Is COBRA?
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) was created to enable employees who are no longer working to continue receiving benefits through their employers’ health insurance plan. However, the stipulation is that the employee is required to pay the premiums themselves. One downside to COBRA coverage is that is only a temporary option, with typical coverage only lasting about 18 months.
How Do I Qualify For COBRA?
When you work for a company that employs 20 or more employees, you are eligible for COBRA coverage when you’re laid off. In most circumstances, you may also be eligible if you quit your job.
In addition to these circumstances, there are other instances in which you may also be eligible for coverage with COBRA. Your qualified dependents are eligible for COBRA, as well as a divorced spouse, as long as he or she is unemployed and has not been re-married. You will also qualify for COBRA in the event of the death of your spouse that had COBRA coverage at the time he or she passed. In addition, if you are completely disabled, or eligible for Medicare, you will also be eligible for COBRA coverage.
There are circumstances in which a still employed employee can receive COBRA coverage. For example, if your employer has reduced your work hours below the minimum level for group coverage, this will prohibit the employer from being able to pay for your health insurance, allowing the employee to be eligible for COBRA coverage instead.
How Much Does COBRA Cost?
Unfortunately, once an employee is either laid-off or quits his or her job, the employer is no longer responsible for paying for your health insurance through group plans. It is at this point an employee will be offered COBRA coverage and will become responsible for COBRA premiums themselves. Although you are still getting the group rate, the coverage is extremely expensive. It is for this reason that many people opt to obtain insurance coverage in other ways.
Since COBRA plans typically default to the exact coverage of your former policy, single coverage plans most often range from $300 to $500 monthly, with family plan costs running around $1,000 monthly.
To explore your health insurance options, or for any questions in regards to your COBRA coverage, contact Brazleton Insurance Group today.