Author Topic: COBRA?  (Read 2657 times)

jfer_rose

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COBRA?
« on: October 12, 2015, 04:38:22 AM »
I'm starting a new job and my health insurance won't start until I have worked there for a month. At most I would be uninsured for about 45 days (including my time off between jobs). I will also be making a move to another region of the US-- and driving a moving truck. I am quite healthy, and don't anticipate any health-related costs in that period of time.

I don't really understand how this works... Can I decide to enroll in COBRA if, and only if, I have an unexpected health issue during the gap? I read that you have 60 days to enroll which seems to suggest that I can do that...

asiljoy

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Re: COBRA?
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2015, 05:16:35 AM »
Call and ask. There was a whole bunch of weird if/ands/buts when I enrolled and then got off earlier this summer. They'd really be the only ones able to tell you what you really qualify for.

NCGal

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Re: COBRA?
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2015, 05:54:57 AM »
I've wondered about that with COBRA too. There is also catastrophic/gap insurance which may be purchased for a year or less. It seems one must be under 30 or meet a hardship requirement, but that might be just to avoid the Obamacare penalty. I might speak to a broker about that.

themagicman

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Re: COBRA?
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2015, 06:31:27 AM »
I'm starting a new job and my health insurance won't start until I have worked there for a month. At most I would be uninsured for about 45 days (including my time off between jobs). I will also be making a move to another region of the US-- and driving a moving truck. I am quite healthy, and don't anticipate any health-related costs in that period of time.

I don't really understand how this works... Can I decide to enroll in COBRA if, and only if, I have an unexpected health issue during the gap? I read that you have 60 days to enroll which seems to suggest that I can do that...

I was in this same situation earlier this year. After looking into it that is how I understood it. I went through with that plan and was planning on retroactively purchasing the insurance if something happened to me. Luckily nothing did, so I am not 100% sure if it would work. But that is how I understood it!

Red Beard

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Re: COBRA?
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2015, 07:32:40 AM »
One thing to look into would be enrolling in an ACA "catastrophic plan" at healthcare.gov since a loss of coverage is a qualifying life event. I did this when I was in a similar situation and it it was significantly cheaper than my COBRA plan ($130 vs. $550), and still gave me the peace of mind that if I got the plague or got hit by a car I wouldn't lose all of my savings.

frugaliknowit

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Re: COBRA?
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2015, 09:51:09 AM »
Not an expert, but I do not think you can decide to sign up for Cobra AFTER something "goes wrong".  You have to be signed up for Cobra before something goes wrong.  You buy Cobra if you do not have other, more cost effective coverage.

BlueMR2

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Re: COBRA?
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2015, 09:55:35 AM »
My past experience was that short term (month to month) insurance was readily available outside of COBRA (and at substantially lower rates).

Proud Foot

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Re: COBRA?
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2015, 10:48:54 AM »
I would second what most of the other posters have said and get an ACA plan for the short term. It will be a lot cheaper than moving to COBRA as most employers make you pay the full price when on COBRA.  And as you said you're healthy I would assume you're not in the middle of a treatment of some sort.  That is really the only time I would find COBRA beneficial.

bogart

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Re: COBRA?
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2015, 11:01:39 AM »
Not an expert, but I do not think you can decide to sign up for Cobra AFTER something "goes wrong". 

Also not an expert, but I believe you can.  I'd recommend the OP check with the HR for their current firm (ideally in writing, e.g. an email) to find out about this -- I'd guess it's a pretty common question.

My last knowledge of this was pre-ACA, so it may have changed.

geekette

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Re: COBRA?
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2015, 11:27:31 AM »
In my experience, you won't even get the paperwork to sign up for COBRA for a month after you leave your job.  We kept using our card and eventually signed up (we knew we'd have expenses and planned to keep COBRA anyway until the ACA plans were available).

Sure, check with HR, but I don't see a problem.  Don't use it, don't sign up.  Use it, and prepare to pay the premium.