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Can someone explain COBRA 36 month rule
Old 10-31-2019, 12:10 PM   #1
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Can someone explain COBRA 36 month rule

So a person leaves employment within 18 months of Medicare age, does their dependent get a maximum of 36 months of COBRA access?

“When the qualifying event is the end of employment or reduction of the employee's hours, and the employee became entitled to Medicare less than 18 months before the qualifying event, COBRA coverage for the employee's spouse and dependents can last until 36 months after the date the employee becomes entitled to Medicare. For example, if a covered employee becomes entitled to Medicare 8 months before the date his/her employment ends (termination of employment is the COBRA qualifying event), COBRA coverage for his/her spouse and children would last 28 months (36 months minus 8 months).”

Is it this simple?
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Old 10-31-2019, 12:19 PM   #2
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Theduckguru, Up to 36 months is my understanding. I have studied this as I am 65 y/o now, plan to retire in June 2020. DW will be 65 in May of 2022. DW is on my health insurance. DW will get 23 months of COBRA. Just understand the 36 max, starts when you turn 65 y/o.

Awaiting other opinions and comments.
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Old 10-31-2019, 12:28 PM   #3
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Yes. DH and I were covered by his retiree health care til he aged into Medicare at 65. I was then covered by COBRA for the 21 months until I reached 65. We actually had no idea this was available—were hoping for regular 18 months of COBRA eligibility.
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Old 11-05-2019, 02:31 PM   #4
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So specifically, my wife is the primary retires at 64, maintains both of use on Corbra, so at when she hits 65, I still have 24 months left?
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Theduckguru View Post
So specifically, my wife is the primary retires at 64, maintains both of use on Corbra, so at when she hits 65, I still have 24 months left?
It's not just hitting 65, she needs to go on Medicare and she can still work without retiring. Read the plan document and confirm with HR and the plan Cobra Administrators.

I'm retired and we had health insurance through the wife's work. About a year before she turned 65, I was reading the plan document and came across the 36 month Cobra language that I would be eligible for if she went on Medicare with it primary and not secondary to her work insurance. We reached out to HR to confirm and the response was "Cobra is only for 18 months but go ahead and contact the plan." We did and confirmed it would be 36 months.

9/19 she went on Medicare primary and I'm on Cobra through her work. I'm eligible for 36 months through 8/22. I'm eligible for Medicare in 3/23. I tell everyone she robbed the cradle.

She still works. She loves coming home and dinner is made.
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Old 11-06-2019, 06:19 AM   #6
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I plan on retiring at 64, and using COBRA for a full year until I age into Medicare, my wife will only have to be on COBRA for another 3 months after I start Medicare.

Is there a website to calculate COBRA costs for that 1 year ?
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Old 11-06-2019, 06:36 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ckelly78z View Post
I plan on retiring at 64, and using COBRA for a full year until I age into Medicare, my wife will only have to be on COBRA for another 3 months after I start Medicare.

Is there a website to calculate COBRA costs for that 1 year ?
COBRA costs are based on the total costs of insurance premiums at your employer (your portion plus their portion) plus an administration fee. You'll need to discuss that with them as those costs will be different at every employer.
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Old 11-06-2019, 06:57 AM   #8
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Is there a website to calculate COBRA costs for that 1 year ?
No, since COBRA is an extension of your MC insurance. It's basically 102% of the total cost your employer pays. (not 102% of what you currently pay, but what you pay+what they pay). It's a question for your HR team.
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