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Apparent COBRA exclusion: what now?
Old 09-11-2008, 02:11 PM   #1
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Apparent COBRA exclusion: what now?

Based on what I have read, I believe my soon-to-be-former employer had few enough employees (about a dozen) that they can ignore COBRA. So does this mean I will be on my own in the insurance marketplace?
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Old 09-11-2008, 02:20 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
Based on what I have read, I believe my soon-to-be-former employer had few enough employees (about a dozen) that they can ignore COBRA. So does this mean I will be on my own in the insurance marketplace?
My understanding Brewer is that they can offer Cobra, but will not be compelled to offer it. Best to contact them. If they say no, maybe a call to your state insurance department and a good insurance broker might help.

Good luck.

Ha
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Old 09-11-2008, 02:26 PM   #3
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My understanding Brewer is that they can offer Cobra, but will not be compelled to offer it. Best to contact them. If they say no, maybe a call to your state insurance department and a good insurance broker might help.

Good luck.

Ha
OK, that's about what I figured. I guess we will see if they choose to be helpful when the time comes.

As for a broker, etc. I live in NJ, so all retail individual policies are the same and they are not allowed to underwrite. They are very expensive, not surprisingly.
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Old 09-11-2008, 02:30 PM   #4
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What haha said.
It may vary by state. I can tell you that in some states employers below a threshold (in number of employees) are not required to offer COBRA.
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Old 09-12-2008, 09:08 PM   #5
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That's what happened to my sister when she got laid off. Less than 20 employees so no Cobra. It did mean she was HIPAA qualified immediately and didn't have to wait until after 18 months of Cobra. Good news, bad news since the Cobra would have been too expensive to purchase. A high deductible policy was cheaper....but still too expensive.
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Old 09-12-2008, 10:32 PM   #6
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Based on what I have read, I believe my soon-to-be-former employer had few enough employees (about a dozen) that they can ignore COBRA. So does this mean I will be on my own in the insurance marketplace?
Less than 20 employees, the federal Cobra law doesn't apply. But does you state have a mini-Cobra? I assume you have checked Health Insurance and Coverage Help for Consumers Everywhere

You are NJ, right? So your option without Cobra is one of the expensive guaranteed issue plans.
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Old 09-12-2008, 11:21 PM   #7
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Uh oh...

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For the past 10 years, The Consumer Guides to Getting and Keeping Health Insurance, developed by Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, have served approximately 1.5 million individuals, activists, legislators and others who care about health insurance coverage.

Now, as of September 1, 2008, we have lost our funding support to continue to maintain the guides, which provide information on the protections that individuals have, and lack, in each state, when it comes to navigating the loss of employer-sponsored health insurance. Therefore, the guides are temporarily unavailable until we can find a new source of financial support.
If you would like to be notified when the guides are available again, please leave your email address
I think I saved a copy for my state. Ouch.
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Old 09-13-2008, 08:13 AM   #8
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Crap. The single best resource for the rules of the healthcare game is out of business!

Martha, I assume "mini COBRA" is state rules that layer in on top of federal COBRA? The state in question would be CT, so I will have to see if I can find out what the rules are. I live in NJ, and the guaranteed issue policies are outrageously priced for the lousy coverage they provide. I suppose I could do an end run via a semi-fictitious business that buys small group healthcare, but that is a lot of trouble and shadiness for something that will hopefully be a temporary issue.
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Old 09-13-2008, 08:16 AM   #9
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Hmm, found a quickie tabular guide to mini-COBRA programs, although it has no further info. State by state:

Mini COBRA Programs Available By State - The David Fluker Health Insurance Agency - Gilroy, California - Serving California Residents Since 1995

Looks like I would be eligible for mini-COBRA for 18 months. My employer has actually elected to pay for health insurance until the end of the year as a severance benefit. Anyone know if the clock starts ticking on the 18 months at separation of service or the end of employer paid healthcare?
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Old 09-13-2008, 09:47 AM   #10
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Because you have a miniCOBRA available under state law, you would have to find out what CT law is on the issue. Did your employer provide a COBRA notice?

I am seriously bummed that the Georgetown guides are not available.
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Old 09-13-2008, 11:53 AM   #11
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I have not received a COBRA notice, but since healthcare is being provided through 12/31, I'm not sure they have to do so just yet.
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Old 09-13-2008, 11:58 AM   #12
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Martha, et al., another apprent info resource: Foundation for Health Coverage Education

The bit on CT minicobra says that eligibility starts when group coverage is terminated, so it sounds like I would be getting a notice in December rather than now.
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Old 09-13-2008, 12:12 PM   #13
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My thinking is that if you have not received a Cobra notice yet, the Cobra isn't running. I have heard of employers paying Cobra payments for certain former employees, I was just wondering if that was what might have been happening at your workplace.
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