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District of Columbia COBRA Insurance

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

Eligibility: In order to be eligible for Washington D.C. Mini COBRA coverage, you must have been covered by the employer group health insurance plan at the time employment ended or the qualifying event occurred. You also can not qualify for federal COBRA insurance. As with federal COBRA laws, your beneficiaries are also eligible for COBRA insurance in Washington D.C.. You are not eligible for Washington D.C. 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 Washington D.C. Mini COBRA insurance coverage, your employer or insurance provider must notify you within 30 days that you are eligible for Washington D.C. Mini COBRA insurance. You then have 30 days to sign up. Florida Mini COBRA insurance, unlike 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: Washington D.C. Mini COBRA insurance covers you for 3 months from the day your group health insurance plan stopped coverage. This applies to former employees, spouses, and dependents.

Cost: Washington D.C. Mini COBRA insurance costs are based on the insurance premium cost under the group insurance plan you participated in as an employee. Depending on your employer, they may have paid the entire premium or part of the premium. Under Washington D.C. Mini COBRA insurance benefits, you will be responsible for paying the 102% of the premium. Although this may seem high, it is still significantly less than you would pay for similar heath insurance coverage if you bought individual health insurance. It is also important to know that when you sign up for Washington D.C. Mini COBRA insurance, you will be responsible for any monthly premiums retroactively since the date of employment loss since the coverage covers that entire period.

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

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

District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking
810 First Street, NE, Suite 701
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: 202.727.8000
http://disr.dc.gov/disr/site/

U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration
Washington District Office
1335 East-West Highway, Suite 200
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: 301.713.2000
Fax: 301.713.2008
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.

Where can I find a list of doctors for COBRA insurance?

Since COBRA insurance is actually legislation that allows you to choose to continue receiving your previous group health insurance plan, there will not be a list of doctors that take COBRA insurance, but instead the same doctors that were covered under your previous health insurance plan will still be covered. If you need a list of those doctors, you should contact your health insurance plan administrator.

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 keep COBRA insurance even if my new job offers health insurance?

Sometimes people may find a new job but still would like to stay on their previous plan with their former employer under COBRA because they prefer that plan. This is completely possible under COBRA insurance laws as long as you do not sign up for the new insurance. However, when your COBRA insurance benefits run out, you will likely want to sign up for your new employers health insurance plan or find a private plan.

Can I use COBRA insurance more than once?

COBRA insurance laws apply each and every time you leave a job and meet the COBRA insurance eligibility requirements. That means that you can be eligible for COBRA insurance multiple times in your life as long as you meet the federal or state requirements.

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.

Can I get COBRA insurance when my student insurance ends?

It depends on your university's insurance plan and how many people are covered under the plan. There is a possibility that you can sign up to keep your health insurance from the university under COBRA insurance. You should contact the health insurance provider/contact on campus to find out more information and/or call the insurance company themselves.

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 cancel my COBRA insurance?

Of course! COBRA insurance is meant to be an interim way to keep health insurance after you lose or quit your job. Once you have found a new job with health insurance or decide to sign up for an alternative health insurance plan, you can cancel your COBRA insurance policy at any time by contacting your COBRA insurance administrator.

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