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Is California COBRA different? Any personal experience here?
Old 09-14-2018, 02:41 PM   #1
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Is California COBRA different? Any personal experience here?

I read something in passing the other day and am looking for some easy to understand info from someone who is familiar with how it works. Is California COBRA 3 years instead of the normal 18 months?

My husband is still working for health insurance as we are not confident that the current ACA system will cover his pre-existing condition if he leaves his job.

His mega corp is based in NJ. His fully owned subsidiary is based out of CA. We are domiciled in SD but could become CA residents if it meant we could get three years of COBRA instead of 1.5. He will be 62 in April so at that point he only has 3 years to cover.

Does anyone have any insight regarding CA COBRA?
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Old 09-14-2018, 02:42 PM   #2
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I read it’s 3 years. I recall forward the link to my sister last year. Here more information from BH.
One poster said 5 years after age 60, if you’ve been with the company for 5 years.

https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=208653
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Old 09-14-2018, 03:36 PM   #3
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Cal Cobra has a pretty good site. You'd want to call them to determine if there are any residency wait periods (ie, do you have to be in CA for X months to qualify, and all that).

https://www.dmhc.ca.gov/HealthCarein...ge(COBRA).aspx
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Old 09-14-2018, 03:39 PM   #4
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1.5 years for cobra is standard. Some states have increased the requirement to 3 years. Where I live it is 1.5 years. I'm not sure the states that went to 3 years, but I would not be surprised if California increased the cobra time.
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Old 09-14-2018, 03:57 PM   #5
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If you could wait and pull it off I keep hearing California is going to give free healthcare soon . It is currently being worked on for new immigrants
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Old 09-14-2018, 06:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Breedlove View Post
If you could wait and pull it off I keep hearing California is going to give free healthcare soon . It is currently being worked on for new immigrants
Nothing is free.
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Old 09-14-2018, 06:58 PM   #7
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Nothing is free.
I think this is a gimmick, illegals immigrant already got health insurance free because they don’t pay anything, hospitals cannot turn them away.
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Old 09-14-2018, 07:44 PM   #8
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I think this is a gimmick, illegals immigrant already got health insurance free because they donít pay anything, hospitals cannot turn them away.
Nothing is free. Someone (in this case the taxpayer) is paying for it.
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ImaCheesehead View Post
I read something in passing the other day and am looking for some easy to understand info from someone who is familiar with how it works. Is California COBRA 3 years instead of the normal 18 months?

Does anyone have any insight regarding CA COBRA?
Yes, CA has a program called CalCOBRA that extends federal COBRA by 18 months (so combined COBRA then CalCOBRA totals 36 months). This was my experience:

The Federal program (COBRA) allowed me to continue on my employer's plan paying monthly premiums equal to the Plan I selected from my old employer's then current options + a 2% admin fee.

After the 18 months of COBRA lapse, I was able to continue using my employer's Plan for an additional 18 months using CalCOBRA, paying monthly premiums equal to my employer's Plan premiums + a 10% admin fee. (It is my understanding that the 2% and 10% admin fees are maximums written into the law.)

Note: Most employers won't continue paying employee subsidies after separation, and so people are surprised (and upset) when they see the true cost of their employer insurance plans without the employer's subsidy. So before you make your decision of whether or not to use COBRA/CalCOBRA to bridge to medicare, get quotes and compare the full COBRA premiums to ACA/Direct plan options. Each person's circumstances can be different enough to make "the obvious choice" different.

NL
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