Comprehensive COBRA Insurance Information

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Arkansas COBRA Insurance

In addition to the federal COBRA insurance coverage, the state of Arkansas also offers an extended COBRA insurance plan for employees at companies with less than 20 employees. This means that even if you do not meet the requirements for federal COBRA insurance, you may still be eligible for COBRA insurance coverage in Arkansas. This law is called Arkansas Mini COBRA insurance.

Eligibility: In order to be eligible for Arkansas Mini COBRA coverage, you must have been covered by the employer group health insurance plan for at least three months before the end date of the coverage and have a qualifying event that entitles you to COBRA insurance. You also can not qualify for federal COBRA insurance. As with federal COBRA laws, your beneficiaries are also eligible for COBRA insurance in Arkansas. You are not eligible for Arkansas Mini COBRA insurance if you are eligible for Medicare or if you qualify for another group health insurance plan.

Signing Up: To sign up for the Arkansas Mini COBRA insurance coverage, you must apply in writing 10 days before your coverage is scheduled to end. You also must pay the COBRA premium in advance. Your employer and the group health insurer are responsible to provide you with an election notice for COBRA insurance when your employment ends.

Length of Coverage: Arkansas Mini COBRA insurance covers you for 120 days from the day your group health insurance plan stopped coverage. This applies to former employees, spouses, and dependents.

Termination: Arkansas Mini COBRA insurance can be terminated for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons for termination of Arkansas Mini COBRA insurance coverage is failure to pay premiums, termination of the group health insurance plan by the employer.

For help electing for Arkansas MIni COBRA insurance, you may consider contacting the following state agencies.

Arkansas Insurance Department
1200 West Third Street
Little Rock, AR 72201-1904
Phone:(501) 371-2640 or (800) 852-5494
http://www.insurance.arkansas.gov/

Arkansas Comprehensive Health Insurance Pool (CHIP)
The Arkansas Comprehensive Health Insurance Pool (CHIP) is an agency that helps individuals to secure health insurance benefits after their COBRA insurance has run out.

Arkansas Comprehensive Health Insurance Pool
P.O. Box 419
Little Rock, AR 72203
Phone: (800) 285-6477
http://chiparkansas.org/

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I sign up for COBRA insurance if I quit my job?

Yes! Under COBRA insurance you can sign up for COBRA insurance if you leave your job voluntarily (i.e. quitting) or involuntarily (i.e. being laid off). You will need to complete the COBRA insurance enrollment form which should be provided by your employer.

Can I get COBRA insurance if I worked for a small company?

It depends on the size of your company and the number of employees covered under their insurance plan (either full time or their part time equivalents. Federal COBRA insurance only applies to companies who cover at least 20 employees. However, many states have created their own COBRA insurance laws to offer extended coverage to employees at companies with between 2-19 employees. Learn more about state sponsored COBRA insurance.

Can I change my COBRA insurance plan for a private medical insurance plan?

Under the COBRA insurance law, you can drop COBRA insurance at any time as long as you inform your insurance provider. This means that you can at any time convert to a private health insurance plan. Just be careful that when you drop COBRA insurance your other plan has started so you don't experience a lapse in coverage.

Can I keep COBRA insurance even if my new job offers health insurance?

Sometimes people may find a new job but still would like to stay on their previous plan with their former employer under COBRA because they prefer that plan. This is completely possible under COBRA insurance laws as long as you do not sign up for the new insurance. However, when your COBRA insurance benefits run out, you will likely want to sign up for your new employers health insurance plan or find a private plan.

I just had a baby, can I add him/her to my COBRA insurance plan?

It all depends on the health insurance policy that you chose to continue under the COBRA insurance law. Each group health insurance company has different policies so you will want to call your insurance provider. Under most policies you will be allowed to add your baby once you give birth.

Can I get COBRA insurance if I am not a U.S. citizen?

If your worked for a U.S. company that provides health insurance and you meet the federal requirement for COBRA insurance eligibility than you can be covered whether you are a U.S. citizen or not. Make sure to get the COBRA insurance election form from your employer and submit it on time and you should be covered along with your dependents and/or spouse.

Where do I get the COBRA insurance application/enrollment form?

The application for COBRA insurance, also know as the enrollment of election form, should be provided by your employer within 45 days of your last day of work. You can not use a generic form found online to elect COBRA medical insurance so you must reach out to your employer or health insurance company for the form. If 45 days have passed and you are sure you qualify for COBRA insurance, reach out to the Department of Labor at 866-444-3272.

Does COBRA insurance work in every state or only certain ones?

COBRA Insurance is a federal law, passed in 1985, which means that is works in every single state. Each and every state is required to offer continuation of health insurance with COBRA insurance as long as the employee meets the eligibility written in the law. If you do not meet the federal COBRA eligibility requirements, some states offer additional COBRA insurance plans for people at smaller companies normally known as mini-COBRA or COBRA continuation plans.

How do I apply for state sponsored COBRA insurance?

Every state has a specific application process to receive state sponsored COBRA insurance. Generally, you will need to request an election form from your employer and will have between 14-60 days to submit your form and pay the initial premium. On this form, you will have to prove that you are eligible and provide personal information for everyone you wish to remain on the plan under COBRA.

Can my employer deny COBRA insurance benefits?

If you qualify for COBRA insurance under the federal eligibility requirements and have not left your job due to gross misconduct, then your employer can not deny you COBRA insurance benefits. If you think you are unfairly being denied COBRA insurance benefits by your employer you should reach out to the Department of Labor.

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