COBRA – Options for Health Insurance Coverage

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COBRA is an acronym that stands for "Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act," and it is not health insurance, it's a federal law designed to help people keep their health insurance during the transition time between jobs.

If you are employed by a company with 20 or more employees, and you leave your job for any reason, you have the right to continue with the health insurance coverage you and your family received. COBRA requires the employee to offer you the opportunity to continue your company coverage for up to 18 months. While you maintain this coverage, however, you must pay both your normal portion of your premiums, plus the amount your employer normally paid.

It's important to compare the cost of your COBRA with an equivalent individual or family health plan. When you have COBRA you are not only paying for the health insurance coverage but you are also paying an administrative fee to your former company.

Make sure you know what your options are for coverage once your COBRA eligibility ends. Do this BEFORE it expires. Do not let your coverage lapse. Many states have different laws on eligibility requirement for obtaining health insurance. Check with a licensed insurance professional versed in the laws of your state for advice.

Try to find an online health insurance quote provider for your health insurance in your state. These services are usually free and can also offer the backup of experienced health insurance Advisors to help you make sense of the options for you as an individual or for family health insurance.

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