COBRA is a federal law that provides for the right of each worker, at companies with 20 or more employees, to continue his/her health insurance in the event of a layoff, strike or other displacement from the job, at the same cost the employer was paying, plus two percent.
Employees have 60 days to elect this option. COBRA insurance protection lasts for 18 months. It may be expensive, depending on family size, even at group rates. But it offers protection to those who otherwise could not get medical insurance, like heart patients, pregnant women and cancer patients. See 2016 COBRA rates below.
In the event of a layoff, strike or other displacement from the job, the COBRA National Service Center will send a letter of notification to alert you of your 60 days to advise the COBRA Administrator of your decision. This letter will inform you of your rights and responsibilities and costs of continued coverage. It will also give you an address to which you may send your response.
Please consider the following when making your decision regarding COBRA:
- If you are currently under a doctor’s care for a medical condition that cannot be delayed, it is recommended that you send the notification back to the COBRA Administrator as soon as you can.
- All others can wait until the 59th day to advise the COBRA Administrator of their decision.
- We recommend that this response be sent via certified mail.
- Payment for continued coverage is not due until the 45th day after you have responded to the notification.
- People who are planning or have scheduled elective surgery or medical treatment that can be delayed, should consider delaying treatment until after the layoff, strike or other displacement from the job is over.
- COBRA will not pay a bill until the premium is paid.
- In the event of the death of an employee who has taken the COBRA option, the spouse has the option to maintain group insurance under COBRA for a period of 36 months.
2016 COBRA Rates
|Value Saver Plus|