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Connecticut COBRA Insurance

In addition to the federal COBRA insurance coverage, the state of Connecticut 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 Connecticut. This law is called Connecticut Mini COBRA insurance or Connecticut COBRA.

Eligibility: In order to be eligible for Connecticut COBRA coverage, you must have been covered by the employer group health insurance plan before your employment ends 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 Connecticut. You are not eligible for Connecticut COBRA insurance if you are eligible for Medicare or if you qualify for another group health insurance plan.

Signing Up: Your employer should notify you if you are eligible for Connecticut Mini COBRA insurance. You will then need to elect or sign up for Connecticut COBRA. Connecticut Mini COBRA insurance, until federal COBRA insurance, is handled individually by the health insurance provider, therefore each insurer may have slightly different forms and specific sign up requirements. You can always contact the health insurance provider for support in completing these forms.

Length of Coverage: Connecticut Mini COBRA insurance covers you for 18 months from the day your group health insurance plan stopped coverage. This applies to former employees, spouses, and dependents.

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

For help signing up for Connecticut MIni COBRA insurance, you may consider contacting the following state agencies.

Connecticut Insurance Department
153 Market Street
Hartford, CT 06103
Phone: 800.203.3447
http://www.ct.gov/cid/site/default.asp

U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration
Boston Regional Office
J.F.K. Building, Room 575
Boston, MA 02203
James Benages - Director
Tel 617.565.9600
Fax 617.565.9666
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/

The Connecticut Health Reinsurance Association is an agency that helps individuals to secure health insurance benefits after their COBRA insurance has run out.

Connecticut Health Reinsurance Association
100 Great Meadow Road, Suite 704
Wethersfield, CT 06109
Phone: 1.800.842.0004
http://www.hract.org/hra/index.htm

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible for COBRA insurance if my company has under 20 employees?

Unfortunately you are not eligible for COBRA insurance under the federal law if your company has less than 20 employees. However, many states have created extended COBRA insurance benefit laws that apply to people who work for companies with between 2-19 employees. Learn more about COBRA continuation state policies.

Does COBRA insurance qualify as creditable coverage?

Yes - electing to continue your health insurance coverage with COBRA insurance, will qualify as creditable coverage (under the HIPAA) law. Creditable coverage helps ensure that you are not excluded from a health insurance policy in the future due to a preexisting condition.

Will I need new health insurance cards with COBRA insurance?

Because COBRA insurance is just the law that allows you to keep your health insurance previously provided by your employer, given you meet the requirements, you will not need to get a new health insurance card in most cases. Your health insurance will not change when you sign up for COBRA insurance and therefore you will in most circumstances not need a new health insurance card.

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.

How many days do I have to elect COBRA insurance?

Under the current law, you have 60 days to decide if you want to elect COBRA insurance. During that time it is important that you explore all of your options to make sure that is the right plan for you. The exact date that you need to make an enrollment decision will be listed on your COBRA insurance election form.

Is there a COBRA application form I can download?

No. COBRA enrollment forms have to be provided by the employer and group health insurance provider. The election forms, although they contain similar information, contain specific individual information about your plan, the premium, and who is covered so they have to be provided by the employer or group health insurance plan. You should receive this from your employer, as it is their legal obligation to provide the COBRA insurance application, but if your are concerned you should reach out to your employer and request the application.

Does COBRA insurance cover dental insurance as well?

If your previous health insurance plan with your previous employer including dental insurance then in most cases you will be able to continue to receive dental insurance with COBRA. When you receive your COBRA insurance election form, you will have to list what type of insurance you wish to continue with COBRA and who you want to be covered. If you wish to continue to have your dental insurance, make sure to mark this on the form. You will have to then pay the dental insurance premium along with the health insurance premium.

Will COBRA insurance work outside of the United States?

That all depends on the type of health insurance plan that you had with your previous employer. If the insurance company would have covered you if you moved out of the country, then they still will. However, most insurance plans only work in a select area and will not work oversees, therefore meaning COBRA insurance will not work outside of the United States. You can contact your health insurance provider to find out if you will be covered out of the country.

Is there a grace period before they cancel COBRA insurance if I can't pay?

With most health insurance plans, there is a 30 day grace period, within which you need to pay your COBRA health insurance premium. If you fail to pay the premium within this window it is likely that your COBRA insurance will be cancelled and you will not be able to sign back up.

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.

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