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

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.

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 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.

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 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.

What is state sponsored COBRA insurance?

State sponsored COBRA generally looks identical to the federal COBRA insurance coverage but applies to more people than the federal law. It allows someone to extend their group health insurance coverage after losing their job for a specified period of time. This time period varies from state to state. Also, the cost varies from state to state.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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