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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

Can I sign up for COBRA Insurance if I retire?

Yes - under the COBRA insurance law, retiring from your job is considered a qualifying event which means you can elect to continue to keep your group health insurance plan with COBRA insurance. Make sure to get the COBRA enrollment form from your employer, complete it on time, and submit it on time with the premium that is due.

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.

Where do I send my monthly COBRA insurance premiums?

Since COBRA insurance is the law that allows you to maintain your health insurance not the actual insurance, you will send the monthly premiums to your group health insurance company. This is the same one that you had when you were employed. Normally the address is located on your COBRA election form and if you can no find that, you can call your former employer or the health insurance provider.

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.

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.

Can I keep my HSA or flexible spending account with COBRA insurance?

COBRA insurance laws provide that you can continue to maintain your current health insurance plan if you leave or quit our job and meet the COBRA insurance requirements. This means that you can keep all benefits of the previous plan, including HSA and flexible spending accounts under COBRA insurance laws. If you have specific questions about what this looks like you should contact your group health insurance provider.

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.

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.

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.

What other options do I have if I don't qualify or want state sponsored COBRA insurance?

There are many other options for health insurance, many of which are less expensive than typical COBRA plans: Alternatives to COBRA.

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