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Home > Finance > Health Insurance Guide > COBRA Health Insurance

COBRA Health Insurance

If you or you husband (if you are covered under their plan) lose your job, because of being fired, laid off, etc. - you can get insurance through COBRA. COBRA stand for 'Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reduction Act of 1985'. It is a plan that gives you health insurance coverage under certain circumstances.

First, the place you work at has to have at least 20 or more people working there. In a few other states though, you can still get COBRA coverage because of laws in those states that require in it smaller companies too. It is also a law that an employer has to let you know if you can be covered under COBRA.

To be able to get this coverage to have to either be fired (as long as it wasn't for gross misconduct), get laid off, divorced from a spouse that was covered, your work hours get reduced enough, you get disabled, are eligible for Medicare, or the spouse that was covered dies.

If become eligible for it, your employer has to notify you in writing. At that point you have 60 days to decide if you want to be covered under COBRA or not.

COBRA coverage isn't free, but it is generally less than buying your own individual health insurance plan. And is a lot better than having no coverage at all!

You can only get coverage under COBRA for a certain period of time too. Usually between 18 and 36 months. You will have to read all the information supplied by your employer to see actually how long you can be covered.

Also, COBRA coverage may end if you terminate it, you are over 30 days late in making a payment, you get covered by another plan, including Medicare or if the company stops offering a group health plan to anyone.

It is not considered advisable to get temporary health insurance when you are between jobs if you could get COBRA instead. COBRA may cost a bit more, but should cover any preexisting conditions, if you have any.

Another nice thing about COBRA is that you can keep your same doctors that you had before, which is important since the events that would allow you to get COBRA coverage tend to be stressful ones - keeping the same doctors at least keeps something stable in your life.

In any case, you should check with your employer, or your spouse employer, to learn the details of what is and isn't available through COBRA.

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