Comprehensive COBRA Insurance Information

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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

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.

Am I eligible for COBRA insurance if my company cancels their health insurance policy?

Unfortunately in most cases you will not be eligible for health insurance under COBRA insurance laws if your company stops providing health insurance. The reason is that COBRA insurance laws allow you to continue to receive your health insurance but if there is no health insurance to continue, then you are not able to keep insurance under COBRA. This means you will likely need to start exploring alternative health insurance options.

Can I sign up for COBRA insurance if I am self employed?

Unfortunately you will not be able to sign up for COBRA insurance if you are self employed. Federal COBRA insurance benefits only extend to people who work for companies with over 20 employees and state sponsored COBRA insurance policies may extend to companies with 2-19 employees. Most likely you will need to seek out COBRA insurance alternatives. The only other option you could possibly explore is if you belong to a group health insurance plan provided by an umbrella network of self employed individuals. If you are part of such a network, you may be eligible for COBRA insurance but you will have to reach out to your plan administrator.

Can I keep the same health insurance plan with COBRA insurance?

That is exactly what COBRA insurance is for. COBRA insurance actually refers to the law that was passed in 1985 and not to a specific type of insurance. The law allows you to keep your current health insurance plan as long as you meet federal requirements which means that yes, you can and will keep the exact same health insurance plan.

How do I add a dependent to my COBRA insurance?

Since COBRA insurance is just a law that enables you to continue to have access to your previous group health insurance, you would take the same steps to add a dependent. First contact your health insurance provider (not COBRA which is just the law that allows this) and find out their policy for adding a dependent.

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.

Should I sign up for COBRA insurance if I only need insurance for a month?

As long as your new insurance will kick in within the 60 day window you have to elect to sign up for COBRA insurance, there is no need to sign up for COBRA insurance. The reason for this is that you elect to sign to sign up for COBRA insurance on the 60th day, your health insurance will be retroactive until the last day of your employment. That means that if for any reason you got sick or needed medical attention during the 60 days, you could then just pay the premium and be covered for those expenses. If you don't end up needing medical attention in those 60 days then you didn't waste the money paying for the two months of premiums. Essentially, you would actually never be without coverage, since you can activate it at any time within the 6o days and cover the full term.

Your other option would be to sign up for a short term health insurance plan, which can be anyway from 1 day to 1 year, at a much cheaper rate than COBRA. This would cover you for any major medical costs.

Are my COBRA insurance premium payments tax deductible?

It all depends on your health insurance plan and your current income and taxes. Unfortunately there is no simple answer here. The easiest way to find out if your health insurance premiums under COBRA is to contact your health insurance administrator or reach out to the IRS or a specialized tax agent.

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.

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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