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

Is there a cap to the amount COBRA insurance premiums cost?

Unfortunately under the current COBRA insurance laws, there is no cap to the cost of COBRA insurance premiums. The premium is calculated based on the current cost of the group health insurance premium at your company plus the 2% administration fee.

My COBRA insurance premium payment was lost in the mail, what can I do so I do not lose coverage?

The very first thing you should do is reach out to the group health insurance provider you are receiving insurance from with COBRA. Let them know what happened and many times, if this is the first time it has happened and there isn't a pattern of missed payments they will work with you.

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.

Who is eligible for COBRA insurance in my family?

If you are a covered employee under the COBRA insurance law, then generally anyone who was previously covered in your health plan will continued to be covered if you elect COBRA medical insurance. These generally includes your spouse, children, and any other dependents.

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.

Why would I apply for state sponsored COBRA health insurance?

The most common reason that someone would apply for a state sponsored COBRA insurance plan is because they do not qualify under the federal COBRA insurance laws. In many states, there are state sponsored programs often called Mini COBRA laws or COBRA continuation laws which extend COBRA benefits to people who work at companies of between 2-19 employees and wouldn't be eligible under the federal law.

Can I cover my children with COBRA insurance and not myself?

When you receive the COBRA insurance election form, you will have an option to choose who you want to be covered under the COBRA insurance continuation of your group health insurance plan. This means that you can choose to cover only your children, only your spouse, only yourself, or any combination depending on your needs.

You may want to consider who needs to keep the current health insurance plan under COBRA insurance the most (i.e. someone with a preexisting condition or someone who needs consistent medical care) and cover other family members on a less expensive plan.

Can my COBRA insurance premiums change?

Yes. Since COBRA insurance is just a continuation of your group health insurance plan, any changes to that plan, including an increase or decrease in premium costs, will also affect your premium cost under COBRA insurance. Your bill will reflect any changes in costs for the premium. COBRA insurance premiums cannot be locked in at any point.

Can I continue COBRA insurance just for my spouse?

Yes. When you receive your COBRA insurance enrollment form, you will be able to choose you would like to sign up for COBRA insurance coverage. This means that you can pick and choose who will continue to be covered under the health insurance policy with COBRA. You can choose to just cover your spouse and find alternative insurance for yourself.

I just qualified for Medicare, can my family still receive COBRA insurance?

Yes - if you were the one who was providing the COBRA insurance policy (i.e. COBRA kicked in because you no longer were covered due to job loss/quitting and elected to continue to keep your group health insurance with COBRA). Under the COBRA insurance laws, this is known as a secondary qualifying event which will allow your family to be covered for an additional 7 months.

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