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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

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.

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.

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.

Are there good COBRA insurance alternatives if I have a preexisting condition?

Likely, COBRA insurance will be your best option if you have a preexisting condition. However it is always worth it to explore alternative options and explain your condition to find out if there is a cheaper option even though you have a preexisting condition. Either way, it is incredibly important to keep some type of medical insurance.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

How many days do I have to elect COBRA insurance?

Under the current law, you have 60 days to decide if you want to elect COBRA insurance. During that time it is important that you explore all of your options to make sure that is the right plan for you. The exact date that you need to make an enrollment decision will be listed on your COBRA insurance election form.

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