Comprehensive COBRA Insurance Information

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Georgia COBRA Insurance

In addition to the federal COBRA insurance coverage, the state of Georgia also offers an extended COBRA insurance plan for employees at companies with 2-19 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 Georgia. This law is called Georgia Mini COBRA insurance.

Eligibility: In order to be eligible for Georgia Mini COBRA coverage, you must have been covered by the employer group health insurance plan for at least six months before the end date of the coverage 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 Georgia. You are not eligible for Georgia Mini COBRA insurance if you are eligible for Medicare or if you qualify for another group health insurance plan. You also may not qualify for Georgia Mini COBRA insurance if you were terminated with "just cause."

Length of Coverage: Georgia 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.

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

For help electing for Georgia MIni COBRA insurance, you may consider contacting the following state agencies.

Georgia Department of Insurance
Two Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive
West Tower, Suite 704
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Phone: 404.656.2070 OR 800.656.2298
Fax: 404.657.8542
http://www.gainsurance.org/home.aspx

U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration
Atlanta Regional Office (Northern Georgia)
61 Forsyth Street, SW, Suite 7B54
Atlanta, GA 30303
Howard Marsh - Director
Phone: 404.562.2156
Fax: 404.562.2168
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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 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 apply for COBRA insurance if I quit my job?

One of the great things about the COBRA law is that you are entitled to continue your coverage whether you lost your job voluntarily or involuntarily. This means that even if you quit your job, you and your family can still receive COBRA insurance benefits.

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.

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