Buying COBRA vs Getting Health Insurance
Know All Your Options Before You Commit
Cobra, or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, was passed to help ensure that individuals and their families have access to group medical insurance. COBRA offers health insurance policies to certain individuals who have lost their health coverage due to certain specified conditions. While COBRA can be very useful for those individuals who qualify, the policies can also be extremely expensive. Before deciding whether to activate COBRA coverage, you should compare your COBRA rate with an Individual Health Insurance policy rate or a Short-term Health Insurance plan and then decide which best suits your needs both medically and financially.
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Being Eligible for COBRA
You may only be eligible for a COBRA plan if you are currently or were recently (within 60 days of leaving the workplace) employed by a company that had more than 20 employees and offered group health insurance at the time of the qualifying event. Qualifying Events are instances where group health care plans are terminated, thus qualifying individuals for COBRA plans. These events include:
- Termination of employment (death, retirement, dismissal, resignation)
- Reduction of working hours
- Divorce (spouse)
- Loss of "dependent" status (child)
If you are unsure about whether you will be eligible for COBRA and want to make sure you and your family are covered, you should also explore individual health plan options.
For eligible individuals, the COBRA plan offers coverage to beneficiaries for up to 18 months (36 months for certain exceptions) and includes the same benefits as the original group health care policy. The following are some of the benefits offered by COBRA plans:
- Inpatient and outpatient hospital care
- Physician care
- Prescription drugs
- Other medical benefits, such as dental and vision care
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Individual-Health-Plans.com is not a licensed health insurance carrier, and we are unable to directly issue health insurance policies, or alter existing policies. If you wish to inquire about your current plan, please contact your health insurance provider for more information.