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mowens's avatar

Should I elect for Cobra?

Asked by mowens (8392points) February 26th, 2010

I got a new job. My new insurance will not kick in until my 30th day of employment. Is Cobra worth it?

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13 Answers

njnyjobs's avatar

It is up to you to calculate the chances of needing coverage. If you have pre-existing conditions, COBRA is definitely a good thing as this will keep your coverage in place until your new policy kicks in. It is a good idea to check with your benefits admin how pre-existing conditions will be treated when your coverage rolls around.

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mowens's avatar

I do have epilepsy, but I just take pills for it. I havent had a seizure in 15 years. Cobra just seems rediculously expensive.

njnyjobs's avatar

@mowens if that is the case, I would take COBRA. you’l never know when that seizure might happen…

srmorgan's avatar

Your qualify event for COBRA is your last date of employment or last date of coverage depending on how your company’s agreement with the carrier is worded.

The company must give you COBRA information within 14 days of your qualifying event. You then have either 45 or 60 days to enroll under COBRA.

If you are picking up benefits after 30 days, wait with your COBRA election until then. If you have medical expenses within those 30 days that exceed the cost of the COBRA, enroll, if not , don’t sweat it.

By the way, if you had group medical coverage at your previous employer, the new employer’s medical plan can not refuse coverage due to pre-existing condition so long as the GAP in coverage is no longer than 63 calendar days. If you are picking up benefits after 30 days, the pre-existing condition is of no importance to you.

As always ask HR at the new job to confirm what I just wrote.


marinelife's avatar

I will just tell you this. My husband just got a new job and in order to avoid having to not have coverage for pre-existing conditions, we had to show proof of insurance for the interim period we were not covered by the previous insurer. Thus, Cobra. So I would check with HR or the new insurer to see if they are going to want that. If something happened that meant you needed some kind of treatment for your epilepsy, it would be labeled a pre-existing condition.

Now, the good news is that the Obama Administration is currently picking up 65% of the cost of Cobra. So that should help.

LunaChick's avatar

Take the Cobra coverage. Even if you’re the healthiest person you know, something can go wrong. Accidents and illnesses happen and it’s best to be prepared.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Lifes uncertain. A bus might hit you tomorrow. If you need emergency attention and don’t have insurance, may luck have mercy on you because insurance companies will not.

Violet's avatar

Do you have about $370 to pay for it each month? I’m on COBRA now..
If you quiallify, try Medicare/Medical/Medicaid

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

No. Cobra is a useless, expensive joke on the average mensch. If you get sick and can’t pay, fuck ‘em. Tell them to take it out of your portion of the 2 wars you didn’t vote for, the bailouts you didn’t vote for, or the single payer healthcare you’ve been denied by your elected representatives. Fuck ‘em all.

srmorgan's avatar

@marinelife – When your coverage under a group medical insurance contratct terminates, the carrier, generally the prior employer’s carrier, must, under ERISA provide you with the type of documentation that you mention. This is a requirement under Federal law.
You should NOT have to pay for COBRA coverage in order to avoid triggering the pre-existig condition coverages. All you have to do is present the certificate to the new carrier IF requested. (don’t worry they will ask for it).

Please check with your HR. you are allowed to have a gap in coverage for up to 63 days without having a pre-existing condition denied by the new employer’s carrier.

@Violet – For our employees COBRA coverage for family plan including dental is over $1,400 per month and individual coverage exceeds $500 per month. This gives you some idea of how much this stuff costs before the employee’s partial premium is included. It is expensive!!!

Judi's avatar

And think about it. The stimulis plan is paying 65% of the cobra payment. Can you imagine what your employer is paying?

srmorgan's avatar

Under ARRA, premiums are reduced by 65% for a period not to exceed nine consecutive months.

The employer receives a credit for the 65% when the quarterly payroll tax summaries are paid or submitted to the IRS.


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