What is COBRA?
COBRA stands for The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. It acts as an extension to your current Group Health Plan. If you elect to enroll in COBRA upon leaving your employer, benefits will carry over, and they will be back-dated to the time your Employer Group health Plan ended. You will have to pay the full premium (including the employer’s contribution, plus a small COBRA administration fee).
Why use it?
COBRA can be a huge advantage to you and/or dependents, depending on income. Generally speaking, COBRA – compared to Individual or Family Plans – may have a larger provider network and allow more out-of-state benefits. A comparison should be run, including the costs/benefits you would receive under COBRA compared to desired Individual or Family plans in your area. You can use our free quote tool here.
Individual/Family Plans – VS – COBRA
Federal Health Insurance
Explore the Federal Health Insurance Exchange. This service is available in every state. It helps individuals, families, and small businesses shop for and enroll in affordable medical insurance. The Marketplace is accessible through websites, call centers, and in-person assistance.
Years in Medicare
Insurance plans offered
If your income is very low: State Medi-Caid may be a no-cost option while still providing comprehensive benefits. If income is not low enough to qualify for Medi-Caid the Health Insurance exchange may offer a premium subsidy for those who qualify.
Medicare does not recognize COBRA as group health: be careful in electing COBRA if Medicare-eligible since you only have 8 months to sign up for Medicare; you could be liable to face significantly delayed enrollment and penalties.
Your dependent will still be COBRA eligible if you are Medicare-eligible and go on Medicare and Supplemental Coverage.